WBBL – the best batters and bowlers

Earlier today I wrote a post explaining four key batting metrics and three key bowling metrics which can be used to measure success in Twenty20, and then I showed these stats for each of the eight WBBL teams.

For this section, I’m going to analyse players by batting and bowling. I’m going to separate players between those who have under five innings of international play, and those who have five or more, so we can get a sense of the best players amongst the international stars, and amongst the up-and-comers.

Because this could be infinitely complex, I’m going to just look at the top five for each of these fourteen metrics (seven metrics divided between international and non-international players).

Batting – internationals

Batting average Balls per innings
Stafanie Taylor 41.45 Stafanie Taylor 27.66
Meg Lanning 36.04 Charlotte Edwards 26.98
Sophie Devine 34.47 Dane van Niekerk 26.54
Alex Blackwell 34.28 Suzie Bates 25.16
Charlotte Edwards 34.14 Meg Lanning 24.66
Strike rate Boundary runs/innings
Deandra Dottin 140.11 Meg Lanning 16.53
Stacy-Ann King 133.64 Charlotte Edwards 15.58
Meg Lanning 121.80 Sophie Devine 14.12
Sophie Devine 121.59 Stafanie Taylor 14.06
Stafanie Taylor 117.62 Elyse Villani 13.88

This shows the importance of international players in the competition. Only Lanning, Blackwell and Villani are Australian, while the captains of England, West Indies and New Zealand each appear on at least three tables. Meg Lanning’s position won’t come as a surprise to anyone who followed her batting yesterday.

It’s also interesting to note that three of the top five in strike rate are West Indian cricketers.


Batting – non-internationals

Batting average Balls per innings
Kelly Applebee 25.13 Jenny Wallace 22.86
Jenny Taffs 24.22 Jenny Taffs 21.55
Jenny Wallace 24.09 Kris Britt 20.88
Kris Britt 24.07 Nicole Bolton 20.47
Nicole Bolton 23.04 Beth Mooney 19.12
Strike rate Boundary runs/innings
Julie Hunter 131.58 Erin Burns 9.60
Sarah Aley 117.39 Kris Britt 9.16
Erin Burns 112.21 Jenny Wallace 8.97
Grace Harris 111.53 Jenny Taffs 8.18
Nicola Carey 106.77 Beth Mooney 7.67

Firstly, you’ll notice that most of these stats are substantially lower than the top internationals. We see a lot of the same names popping up.

Jenny Taffs, Kris Britt (both Renegades), Jenny Wallace, Nicole Bolton (both Scorchers), Erin Burns (Hurricanes) and Beth Mooney (Heat) all pop up multiple times.

Most of these players have no international experience. Kris Britt has played twice, and Nicole Bolton. The main exception is Grace Harris, who was one match short of moving to the international table. She has a very high strike rate, but her batting average is less impressive.

The only two players on this to have played so far, Beth Mooney and Grace Harris, opened the batting for the Heat in yesterday’s two matches. Mooney only scored 2 in the first match and 14 in the second match, but Harris performed very well in both matches, scoring 42 and 37, with a strike rate of over 200 and scoring over 80% of her runs on the boundary.

Bowling – internationals

Bowling average Economy Wickets/innings
Hayley Matthews 14.64 Marizanne Kapp 4.83 Shelley Nitschke 1.19
Stafanie Taylor 14.79 Katherine Brunt 4.86 Stafanie Taylor 1.18
Danielle Wyatt 15.25 Stafanie Taylor 5.08 Lisa Sthalekar 1.14
Sarah Elliott 16.18 Dane van Niekerk 5.12 Danielle Wyatt 1.08
Marizanne Kapp 16.46 Morna Nielsen 5.21 Sarah Coyte 1.06

Again, most of the people on this list are non-Australians. Stafanie Taylor appears in the top three on all three metrics, while also being in the top five on all four batting metrics, which indicates the good sense for the Sydney Thunder in picking her, even if she’s their only international selection.

There are four Australians on these lists, but only one of them has played for Australia in 2015. Elliott hasn’t played since early 2014, Sthalekar since early 2013, and Nitschke since early 2011. Sarah Coyte was a regular bowler for Australia in the five T20Is played in England and Ireland in August.

There’s less consistency in these measurements than for the batters. Apart from Taylor, England’s Danielle Wyatt (playing for the Renegades) appears on two lists, and South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp (playing for the Sixers) also appears on two lists.

Bowling – non-internationals

Bowling average Economy Wickets/innings
Sarah Aley 15.34 Sarah Aley 5.62 Molly Strano 1.24
Molly Strano 15.44 Hannah Perry 5.63 Amanda Wellington 1.23
Sammy-Jo Johnson 15.50 Kara Sutherland 5.66 Kris Britt 1.14
Amanda Wellington 16.38 Kath Hempenstall 5.76 Sarah Aley 1.12
Kris Britt 16.76 Alex Price 5.80 Jemma Barsby 1.10

We see a bit more consistency amongst the domestic bowlers, but still not as much as for the batters. Sarah Aley (a medium-pace bowler for the Sixers) comes out on top on two metrics and fourth on the third.

The Renegades’ off-spinner Molly Strano also performed well, as did the Strikers’ leg-spinner Amanda Wellington. Kris Britt, who briefly played at an international level in 2007 and 2008, is the only person to appear on both the batting and bowling top five.

What happened to Ellyse Perry?

Ellyse Perry is one of Australia’s two most prominent cricketers, and has been a successful all-rounder. I was a bit surprised her name didn’t come up on these lists.

She’s the 24th-best international player on boundary runs per innings, 20th-best on strike rate, twelfth-best on batting average and 23rd-best on balls per innings.

When bowling, she has the 14th-best bowling average, 13th-best economy rate, and 11th-best wickets per innings.

She’s certainly a very valuable player, particularly because of her ability to perform well with bat and ball, but when you separate the two skills out she doesn’t quite reach the top in either.

As a comparison, I’ve found five all-rounders who are in the Sixers and Thunder squads playing today who have played over 30 batting and 30 bowling innings in T20 internationals, and these are their comparable stats.

Player balls /inngs bat avg strike rate bound runs /innings bowl avg econ wick /inngs
Marizanne Kapp 14.10 20.19 99.09 4.77 16.46 4.83 0.93
Laura Marsh 17.02 18.89 100.14 9.51 20.34 5.26 0.98
Ellyse Perry 16.98 28.67 103.37 7.35 19.81 5.47 0.96
Lisa Sthalekar 14.59 22.49 112.27 5.93 17.53 5.46 1.14
Stafanie Taylor 27.66 41.45 117.62 14.06 14.79 5.o8 1.18

Stafanie Taylor wins on pretty much all these metrics – with Lisa Sthalekar coming second, although these stats do not take any consideration of Sthalekar not having played cricket for over two years.

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