This is part three of the cricket season in review. This article looks at collapses while batting first in 50 over Premier Club cricket.
West of Scotland had two collapses batting first (107 and 94). As we have already established, these are two of the lowest scores of the season in the league, so warrant further examination as to what happened.
The main trend was losing wickets. In both cases, early wickets lead to further wickets (no recovery):
Was this down to bad batting, good bowling or a bit of both?
As you can see, there were not many more edges or bat being beaten than normal in either game. However, in the games you can see a couple of clear indicators of good bowling:
The number of false shots per wicket (FSpW) was higher than usual meaning West batsmen got out earlier than usual, even though they made the same number of errors as always.
Defensive shots per wicket (DSpW) were much lower in the Poloc game, suggesting that the bowlers were on top of the batsmen.
Rotational shots per wicket (RSpW) In both games, theses shots were more poorly executed than usual. Generally, if the stat is far below the average, it’s because the pitch has made it tricky to rotate. So, we will give this number to the conditions.
When a chance came it was more likely to be taken. Poloc caught every one of seven chances, a very unlikely occurrence as a strong performance is catching three from four chances.
So, it’s clear that Poloc bowled well. caught well and punished mistakes better than average. Prestwick did not bowl as well as Poloc but still made the most of West’s mistakes. One example of this is Bluecall opening in the Prestwick game and getting caught at deep point in the first over trying to hit a six. While it was a poor shot choice, the odds of Bluecall opening with a deep point who is a reliable catcher while he is facing are low.
What can we learn from this?
Assuming the opposition are ahead by either skill or fortune, how you “get out of the hole”? In the moment - when you don’t have access to the stats – and you find yourself in a difficult situation you have two options:
Try to reduce risk by playing your highest percentage shots, which are rotational shots like pushes and glances (more on this later).
Try to get as many as possible by attacking more often before the inevitable happens.
West tried both approaches at different times during these games. The only one that worked at all was o counter-attack, but it’s success was still limited, as you can see from the final score. Nevertheless, I would suggest you might as well try to score a few if you lose early wickets. This is especially true on tricky wickets. However it is higher risk, so many will disagree.