W/BBL live blog – Saturday 19 December

10:43pm – That’s it for tonight. I’ll return tomorrow with sporadic coverage of the three televised Twenty20 matches (along with some coverage of the other four non-televised WBBL games). In the meantime, you can also follow me on Twitter.

10:40pm – Globally, there’s four cases of a team scoring 180 or above with a lower top score. The Dolphins in South African cricket in 2006 scored 191 with a top score of 32, in 2008 Central Districts in NZ scored 180 with a top score of 33. In 2007, Otago scored 185 with a top score of 33, and in 2008 the Deccan Chargers scored 182 with a top score of 35 in the IPL.

In 2006, the Hyderabad Hawks scored 180 with a top score of 35 – the same stats as the Heat tonight.

10:35pm – One stat I’ve been tweeting about. The Heat scored 180, which is quite a high score (22/26 first-innings scores in the range have won) but wasn’t enough. One fascinating thing about their scoring was that they used seven batsmen, all of whom made it into double figures, and none of whom scored above 35. No team has ever scored anything like 180 in Australian conditions while having that amount of balance in their side.

In 2008, NSW scored 7/159 with Steve Smith top-scoring on 33, and they lost to WA. In 2010 and 2011, Sri Lanka A and Queensland each scored 149 with a lower proportion of runs scored by their top-scoring batsman.

6:42pm – So tonight’s BBL match will start in half an hour between the Brisbane Heat and the Melbourne Renegades. The Brisbane Heat had a terrible season in 2014/15 and will be hoping to recover from that position. I’m going to be out for a few hours so will likely return in the second innings with some more analysis.

6:39pm – We’ve now seen twenty out of 56 regular-season WBBL games, and some clear trends are emerging, but these are clouded by major differences in the number of matches played by each team.

The Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Thunder have both won all of their matches, although they have only played four and three games each, and they haven’t played each other. The Stars and Thunder will play each other twice in Sydney on the final weekend of the regular season, with matches at Olympic Park on Friday 15 January and at the University of Sydney on Sunday 17 January, on either side of the SCG Sydney Derby.

The Hurricanes and the Heat have both impressed. The Hurricanes chalked up five wins before losing their sixth match today, while the Heat started out with a tough competition, losing their first two matches to the Stars before narrowly losing to the Scorchers. They have since won five in a row and could win most of their remaining matches.

The Scorchers are ranked fifth, and that seems about right. They’ve won three out of five matches, which has included defeats of the Hurricanes and Heat. They’ve only played one match against a lower-ranked team, so they’re likely to improve as their schedule gets easier.

The Strikers, Renegades and Sixers have all fallen short, with no wins after four, four and six matches respectively. The Strikers and Renegades have each had some close calls, but the Sixers have been disappointing throughout the tournament.

6:28pm – The Hobart Hurricanes were aiming for a sixth successive win, but scored a below-par 108, which was then chased down by the Perth Scorchers. The Hurricanes’ bowling started well, with Scorchers opener Ellyse Villani going for a golden duck on the first ball, but the score wasn’t enough to hold them off. The Scorchers now have won three out of their five matches.

6:24pm – The Stars easily knocked over the Sixers – chasing down the Sixers’ total of 80 in only 15.5 overs and with the loss of only three wickets. The Stars have now won all four of their matches, while the Sixers have lost all six of theirs.

6:20pm – The Heat beat the Strikers this afternoon at the Gabba, with one over to spare. Star batter Grace Harris was lost to a golden duck, but her usual partner Beth Mooney paired with Jess Jonassen, scoring 48 and 67 not out respectively, most of those runs in an 89-run partnership before Jonassen was joined by Lauren Winfield, finishing off the match. The Heat have now won five matches in a row after losing their first three. The Strikers have lost all four of their matches, despite performing strongly today.

4:11pm – The Adelaide Strikers scored 9/125 in their innings against Brisbane at the Gabba (televised on One). This was a good recovery after collapsing in the middle of their innings, losing six wickets between 11.2 overs and 16.2 overs. Teams scoring 120-130 runs in the first innings have won 55% of matches.

4:07pm – The Hobart Hurricanes scored 8/109 in their innings. The team batting first only won in 10/35 matches when scoring 105-115 runs. But they then took a Scorchers wicket on the first ball, which will improve their position.

4:06pm – The Sydney Sixers women have continued their poor form, scoring 9/80 in their innings. The Melbourne Stars are on 0/6 off 1.3 overs. In women’s T20 matches in Australia where the first team scores between 70 and 90, that team lost 18 matches, tied one match and only won one match.

4:03pm – In the two WBBL matches this morning, the Thunder defeated the Renegades with three balls to spare, and the Hobart Hurricanes held on against the Perth Scorchers, who fell short by one run. The winning scores in the two matches were 130 and 133.

11:08am – Hobart is on 5/118 off 18.4 overs – which is headed for a score which would give them about a 50% chance of winning.

10:05am – We have six Twenty20 matches being played in Sydney and Brisbane today, with the first starting right now in Blacktown.

In the WBBL, the Hurricanes and Scorchers are playing at Blacktown at 10am, then the Thunder and Renegades will be playing in Brisbane at 11am. In the afternoon, the Sixers play the Stars at Drummoyne at 2:30pm and the Scorchers play the Hurricanes at Blacktown at the same time.

The first televised WBBL game starts at 2:40pm AEDT at the Gabba, with the Brisbane Heat hosting the Adelaide Strikers. Following that match, at 7:10pm AEDT the Brisbane Heat men’s team will be hosting the Renegades at the same ground.

I’m not going to be present for the whole day but I’ll drop in every now and then with little stats updates – and if you want to follow along please comment below.

Right now the Hobart Hurricanes women are on 0/5 off 1.3 overs at Blacktown. Both teams have performed well, with Hobart winning all four of their matches and Perth winning three out of their four.

Welcome to Strike Rate

Welcome to my new blog, which will be covering the statistics of Twenty20 cricket over this summer.

Last summer, during the Big Bash League, I became interested in using stats to give myself a sense of how likely a team was to win. Twenty20 cricket is a new game, and I didn’t have a good sense of what sort of score gave you a very good chance of winning.

I built a small dataset, just of the topline results from the BBL and its state-based predecessor the Big Bash over the last ten years, and used that to post graphs during games that were underway.

(You can follow this blog on Twitter, where I may well do similar analysis this summer).

This time I’d like to go much bigger, providing analysis about specific matches based on a much larger dataset, and trying to answer broader questions about how the game works.

This is a tentative first step, and initially I’m going to focus on describing the game as it exists, not trying to make predictions of likely results. I’d appreciate any feedback on statistical methods which might help me make stronger conclusions, or about particular questions you’d like answered. At some point I’ll work on producing guides to some upcoming matches, and I’d also appreciate feedback on which bits of information are the most useful.

I’m going to focus entirely on Twenty20 cricket, both men’s and women’s. I’ve built a database which covers all men’s domestic and international Twenty20, women’s internationals and selected women’s domestic Twenty20 competitions (the data gets a bit sketchy here). Next week I’ll do a post outlining what I’ve included and how much data there is, but there’s over 6000 matches worth of data in the database.

I was planning more of an introduction explaining what I was doing, but I’m going to come back to that introduction next week, and keep this short.

The inaugural Women’s Big Bash League starts this Saturday, with three games played over the weekend (I’ll be at the Sydney derby in Penrith on Sunday).

Because of this impending deadline, I’m going to prioritise a couple of posts explaining the main statistical differences between men and women’s cricket, for anyone who is interested in women’s cricket but doesn’t understand (for example) what kind of score would likely mean a team is in a winning position. Then I will follow that up with an analysis of the stats for those players signed to play in the WBBL.

Next week, I’ll start doing some analysis building up to the Big Bash League. I’m expecting the blog will be a mix of pre-analysis of games coming up, analysis of ongoing competitions, and analysis of deeper questions (how does the proportion of runs scored in fours and sixes affect the team’s likelihood of victory?) which should apply more broadly across the game.