T20 (8) Days later

Entering the New Year, the second entry of our blog series will focus on cricket; specifically, the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia.

Having briefly been introduced to Feedback Cricket (the England and Wales Cricket Board Match Analysis software), the CSW Database (Cricket Statistics of the World), and Tableau (Business Intelligence software) last semester, Jamie and I were tasked with coding each BBL game in Feedback Cricket to produce match data from which we could draw down trends & statistics.

The tagged data from each BBL game was integrated into Tableau to produce a workbook of data, which took the form of multiple worksheets. Navigating the tools within Tableau we have been able to access a considerably more information than we originally anticipated and the immediacy of the results sparked some tremendous conversation. Having created a BBL07 workbook it seemed logical to look at comparisons between the BBL and NatWest T20 Blast . We offer some of our thoughts below as well as some visualizations (images) taken from Tableau.

To serve as a starter here’s our batting sheet which highlights D’Arcy Short as BBL07s leading run scorer – 572 runs in 11 matches. (Short missed one BBL fixture when playing for Australia in the Tri-Series fixture vs New Zealand).

BBL07 Batting Sheet without tooltip

Those highlighted to the right of the vertical line are scoring more quickly than the competition average of 110.7 runs per 100 balls. Those above the horizontal line have scored more runs than the competition average of 105 runs.

Comparing BBL07 to the Nat West T20 Blast we can see that Joe Denly (Kent) was the leading run scorer in the 2017 Blast with 567 runs from 14 matches. Slightly fewer (5 runs) than Short with an average of 43.61 compared to 57.2. Denly’s Strike Rate was however slightly higher than Short’s at 150.79 compared to 148.57

In the T20 Blast in 2017 there were batsmen who advanced things quickly. Alex Hales, at the top of the eventual winners Nottinghamshire’s batting order, scored at a Strike Rate of nearly 200 across his innings and Luke Ronchi at Leicestershire was even more prolific in the Powerplay overs.

Where we can really get an insight though is when Tableau helps us see how each batsmen builds their innings. Staying with Short and Denly here’s how they navigate the 20 overs.

D’Arcy Short

D'Arcy Short through the 20 overs

Joe Denly

Joe Denly through the 20 overs

The stronger the shade of green the higher the Strike Rate. The taller the column the greater the number of runs. As you can see neither batsmen “go hard in the 1st over”. With 1st over wickets at a premium both settle for taking runs from the other 5 Powerplay overs. The images below illustrate that they both score on average around 22 runs in the Powerplay overs.


D'Arcy Short Powerplay Runs

NatWest T20Blast

Joe Denly Powerplay Runs

Changing the focus to bowling. Here’s how the competition winners Adelaide Strikers used their bowlers throughout BBL07. The size of the column represents he Average runs per over conceded in that over. The more green, the more balls bowled. The number in the column represents the number of wickets taken.

Adelaide Strikers

Strikers Bowling through the 20 overs


Notts Bowling through the 20 overs

Interesting to see that both teams started the innings with a wicket taking spinner (Head from the Strikers and Patel for Notts). Equally interesting to compare wickets taken in the final over

Finally we took some numbers out of the CSW Database. Maybe you could quiz your cricketing friends with the following which compares the pre-finals matches of BBL07 and North & South Group matches of the NatWest T20 Blast.

How many games were played in the 2017 season games?

BBL – 40

North – 58

South – 58

What number of games were affected by weather, ie. No result?

BBL – 0

North – 2

South – 4

How many first innings scores were equal to or greater than 200?

BBL  – 1/40 (2.5%)

North – 11/58 (19%)

South – 6/58 (10.3%)

What was the average first innings (of the match) score in each competition?

BBL – 157

North – 174

South – 163

Which bowler took the most Powerplay wickets in each competition?

BBL – Ben Dwarshius – 6 @ 3.52 rpo

North – Clint Mckay – 10 @ 5.8 pro

South – David Payne – 8 @6.0 pro


How many wickets have fallen to spin in the Powerplay in each competition?

BBL – 25

North – 45

South – 18

To conclude, this exercise has been very useful in preparing us for the cricket season ahead which we are both very much looking forward to. It has shown us a wide range of tools that we help us prepare the teams we work with and a variety of means by which we can investigate things in the pursuit of effective strategies.

Sam & Jamie

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