Analysing toss trends in the Pakistan Super League

After this season’s BBL saw league-record highs of teams opting to field first upon winning the toss can we expect the trend to continue in the PSL? If last season is anything to go by then the answer is yes.

In the 2016 PSL 79.16% of teams who won the toss elected to field first (fifth highest ever in BBL, CPL, English T20, IPL, PSL and World T20) and 66.66% of matches were won by the team who fielded first (third highest for BBL, CPL, English T20, IPL, PSL and World T20).

With 23 of the 24 matches scheduled to be played at the same two venues as last year (Dubai and Sharjah) it would be surprising if teams suddenly preferred to bat first.

VenueWon Toss/Bat FIrstWon Toss/Field FirstBat First/WonField First/Won
Dubai (DSC)2/1513/155/1510/15

It should be noted that in the recently concluded Desert T20 Challenge played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in the seven matches played in Dubai five of toss winners chose to bat first. Fielding first still remained more successful however with four of the seven matches won by the team who fielded first.

Given the volume of teams electing to field first and given the win percentage of teams fielding first it should not be too surprising that the 2016 PSL saw one of the highest proportions of toss winners going on to win the match amongst any major league or competition. The 62.50% of toss winners that won the match is only surpassed by the 64.52% from the 2011/12 BBL and 63.63% from the 2016 World T20.

TeamWon TossWon Toss/Won MatchWon Toss/Bat FirstWon Toss/Field FirstBat First/WonField First/Won
Islamabad United5/115/50/55/52/55/6
Karachi Kings4/91/42/42/41/61/3
Lahore Qalanders1/80/10/11/12/70/1
Peshawar Zalmi7/104/72/75/72/34/7
Quetta Gladiators7/105/71/76/71/36/7

Taking a closer look at the toss outcomes by teams from 2016 it is notable that the the top three positioned teams in the regular league stage: Peshawar Zalmi, Quetta Gladiators and Islamabad United won the most tosses last season. While Lahore Qalanders, who were the only team who did not progress to the Play Off Stage, won just one toss in their eight matches and only fielded first once.

CricViz will be covering all 24 Pakistan Super League matches live on the CricViz app and on Twitter @CricProf

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