Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Calculating my contribution

I'm trying to do all I can to get an idea of the club and the league I'm going to be involved with this season so I know what to expect.

One thing I've been doing is browsing through last year's results for Stafford CC's 4th XI to find any info that will help me bring value to that team, since it's likely that's where I'll be playing. The first thing that becomes immediately apparent is that the team didn't tend to fare awfully well, nailing themselves firmly to the bottom of Stone & District Division 1. The result against Maer & Onneley merits a special mention - bowled out for just 18 in 15 overs...

However I'm afraid I've now come over all Bill Frindall... Here are my conclusions.

Looking at the 2009 league as a whole, an average score for a side batting first was 135, and teams with 170 or more invariably won. Three teams did manage to lose after scoring over 150, and there were three wins for teams with less than 100, but ultimately you had to score 135 runs or more to give yourself a better than 50/50 chance. Although Stafford 4ths did amass the largest single innings total of the season (254), in a more typical match 2 or 3 people would be out for a duck with a further five out in single figures. So lets say seven wickets go down for about 25 runs. Just to get to a par score the remaining four batsman need to score 110 between them. No wonder Stafford came last!

Clearly there's no point setting arbitrary targets if we're batting second - we'll have a very definite target in sight. So what would be a reasonable target to set oneself batting first? Well if the aim is to win 160 is probably about right - not too unambitious, not too lofty either. Obviously if early runs come easily without any wickets you could look to press on further, but this is about setting the optimum pace. One other problem Stafford had was that they lasted less than 36 overs on average, so perhaps we need to think about getting our 160 over 40 overs, hoping for a little bit of extra resilience from our batsmen. If we manage that, I think we ought to win at least two-thirds of the games we play...

As for what that means for me, I have to get in, stay in for at least four overs, get into double figures and average 16 or better trying to maintain a run rate of 4 an over. That way I'll have done about a tenth of the work in about a tenth of the innings. That doesn't sound so hard, but from how I've done in the nets so far it may be a pretty ambitious aim...

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