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Match 10: Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes

Match Analysis | Freddie Wilde

Full to Short 

For the second time in as many matches D’Arcy Short was bowled by a full length delivery, having faced just two full balls in his debut innings of 61 against Sydney Sixers in Match 4. This BBL season he has scored 25-2 (18) when playing front foot shots – well below his season strike rate of 186.

Heat restrict Hurricanes 

The average first innings score at the Gabba last season was 184 and with a particularly short boundary on one side of the ground in this match, a competitive score was arguably nearer 200. The Brisbane Heat therefore did well to restrict the Hobart Hurricanes to 173 for 9 and the hard work to do that was largely put in in the first eleven overs of the innings, in which they restricted the Hurricanes to 85 for 4.

The two standout performers for the Heat were Samuel Badree, who had bowled his four overs by the eleventh over, taking 1 for 26, and Mark Steketee who had bowled three of his four at that stage, taking 2 for 20. That they bowled five of the six Powerplay overs, Badree with three and Steketee two, makes their figures all the more impressive. Across both their four over quotas they only conceded one boundary each.

Badree bowled with good control of his line and length, taking 1 for 12 from his 16 full length balls.

Steketee landed 12 of his 26 balls on a full length, taking 2 for 5 from them. However he conceded 21 from the 11 deliveries that pitched shorter than a full length.

Hurricanes squeeze out 173

The Hurricanes’ innings was a strange one with 84 for 4 after eleven overs and a top-score of 33 amounting to a final total of 173. That they eventually scrambled to as many as they did is largely testament to the quality of the pitch—all of the boundaries were clean-hits—but also to some wayward bowling. Heat conceded 14 runs in extras, bowling seven wide deliveries and one no ball: Mitchell Swepson conceded five wides from one delivery while Ben Cutting bowled two wides in the last over.

Broad finds his rhythm 

Stuart Broad’s opening two overs included two no balls, two fours and a six and were hit for 19 runs but the 14 deliveries were the best balls of Broad’s BBL so far and should offer the Hurricanes reason for optimism. Broad removed Jimmy Peirson with his first ball, extracting some extra bounce to draw a leading edge before the contest with Brisbane’s best two players, Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum and a fervent atmosphere, seemed to help Broad find his rhythm. Broad beat the bat four times (6, 7, 9, 10) and hit McCullum on the helmet (12) in his two over spell. Broad found that precious in-between length on which he thrives, around 7.5 to 8.5 metres from the batsman’s stumps, five times, and got good carry through to the keeper.

 

Blitzkreig

Quite how far the Hurricanes were under-par was made abundantly clear by the batting of McCullum and Lynn. After Peirson was dismissed in the second over, McCullum and Lynn put on 109 in 8.5 overs, propelling Brisbane to 71 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay and 118 by the time McCullum was dismissed for 75. Lynn took Heat home with 22 balls to spare. Had they batted first the highest BBL score of 210 for 7, by the Hurricanes at the Gabba, would have been in danger.

Both innings were stunning displays of ball-striking, particularly McCullum’s in which none of his 35 shots were edged and only three were mis-timed while Lynn edged three and mis-timed five. Together they scored 128 runs from 34 beautiful clean hits and 160 off 85 balls overall. The pair complimented each other well with McCullum scoring 53 (25) v spin an 19 (10) v seam while Lynn scored 32 (24) v spin – at one stage 15 (19) – and 50 (26) v seam.

The pitch map indicates that it was the fuller length that was punished most severely. Across the whole innings the three seam bowlers conceded 36 (14) from full length balls, 16 (5) half volleys and 10 (5) full tosses. Shorter than full appeared to work well for the seamers with Brisbane scoring just 11 (14) from that length.

The spinners too suffered as they bowled fuller, conceding 44 (24) from full length balls. Interestingly Cameron Boyce and Short conceded 15 (17) from deliveries that pitched back of a length. Ultimately though, given the mood of Brisbane’s batsmen and how well they were timing the ball, there was no length that was safe from punishment.

No half measures 

Both Lynn and McCullum were dropped, on 4 and 22 respectively, and although both catches were tough chances, when teams make an under-par total they are catches that generally have to be taken if the score is to be defended.

CricViz will be covering all 35 Big Bash League matches live on Twitter @CricProf.

Match 6: Hobart Hurricanes v Melbourne Stars

Match Analysis | Freddie Wilde

Stars win the Powerplay & win the match 

When we refer to teams making the most of the Powerplay, we are generally talking about the batting team capitalising on the fielding restrictions. In this match it was Melbourne Stars, the bowling team, who took advantage of the first six overs to take control of the match.

Ben Hilfenhaus made the most of the new ball by pitching it up and giving it a chance to swing, which it did on balls 1.1 and 1.2 to bowl D’Arcy Short and Dominic Michael. While the Sydney Sixers bowled just two full balls to Short as he raced to a debut fifty on Friday, both of the Stars’ deliveries to him in his innings here were full. Attacking the stumps risks putting the ball into the arc of batsman but it is a risk that can bring wickets and Hilfenhaus’ bravery was rewarded.

What was already a good Powerplay for the Stars became an excellent one with another piece of brave bowling and clever captaincy as off spinner Glenn Maxwell was given the fourth over of the innings. With a short off side boundary to the left handed Kumar Sangakkara if Maxwell dropped the ball even slightly short he was likely to concede a boundary. He didn’t drop it short but the small boundary and wide line from Maxwell was enough to tempt Sangakkara out of his crease and to attempt an inside-out, lofted cover drive. Sangakkara did not get to the pitch of the ball – perhaps Maxwell had seen him coming and held the ball back or maybe it was a misjudgement by Sangakkara – either way when the ball gripped and turned Sangakkara’s balance and power had been compromised and he was caught at long-off as he mis-timed the ball.

Although the Hurricanes still posted 188, that the Stars chased it with such ease suggests that they should have scored more. While it may be hard to not look at the Stars’ record club run-chase as the match-defining innings, the damage to the Hurricanes was largely done in their Powerplay as they subsided to 32 for 3 on an excellent batting pitch.

Paine and Bailey rescue Hobart

The favourable batting conditions available to Tim Paine and George Bailey, partners after the fall of Sangakkara, were considerably mitigated by the weakness of their team’s position when they came together. Their partnership of 145, a new club record, can be split into two distinct phases. From their first 57 deliveries together they scored 83 runs, hitting eight boundaries (RR: 8.73); from their last 28 deliveries together they scored 62 runs, hitting nine boundaries (RR: 13.28). This acceleration can in-part be attributed to the match situation: having lost three early wickets they couldn’t take huge risks, but also in-part to the Stars bowling, which for the first phase of the partnership never let the Hurricanes get away.

The pitch map above illustrates this pattern of control with the Stars generally maintaining a tight line and only in the latter half of the partnership did first Adam Zampa and then Marcus Stoinis begin to over-pitch and concede more runs to the shorter boundary.

Lucky Wright 

At the end of their Powerplay Melbourne Stars had reached 62 for 0 thanks largely to Luke Wright who was 40* (24). Just under half of those runs however, had come from edges or mis-timed shots, 18 (7) to be precise. While he hit a handful of clean boundaries he found the boundary and safe landings off a number of edges. On another day they could have gone to hand and the Stars run-chase could have been put under some pressure.

Hurricanes lose control 

Although conditions favoured batting the Melbourne Stars kept a lid on the Hurricanes’ for most of the first innings by maintaining relatively good control. The same cannot be said of the Hurricanes who bowled shorter and over-pitched more often than the Stars, and were punished accordingly.  

Quiney unveils his full repertoire   

Rob Quiney exhibited skills beyond just putting bad balls away in his 75 (43). His boundaries at 3.1 and 7.2 against Stuart Broad displayed powerful wrists, his twos at 6.2 and 6.3 and boundary at 12.3 revealed his sweep and the 13 times he came down the pitch, bringing him 27 runs demonstrated a willingness and confidence to use his feet. There was power too: all five of his sixes were ferocious hits.

Maxwell shows maturity 

When Maxwell came to the crease the Stars still required 101 off 11.3 overs. Although they were favourites the match was far from over. Maxwell’s 58* (29) that followed was an innings that belied conceptions about his maturity and the pressure of the occasion. Maxwell scored just 23 from his first 17 balls, happy to turn the strike over to Quiney, before assuming the lead role in the closing stages, blasting 35 from his last 12 deliveries. Just 4 (1) of Maxwell’s runs came from edges, while 36 (10) came from well-timed shots. Interestingly although he hit two boundaries against short balls, he scored just 4 (6) against other short balls from seamers.

Scared of spin?

Perhaps dissuaded by the short boundary on one side Michael Beer (3-0-20-0), Maxwell (2-0-12-1) and Clive Rose (3-0-17-0) all did not complete their over quota despite being the three most economical bowlers in the match. Spin went at an ER of 8.06 compared to seam which went at 11.07.

CricViz will be covering all 35 Big Bash League matches live on Twitter @CricProf.

Match 4: Sydney Sixers v Hobart Hurricanes

Match Analysis | Freddie Wilde

Sloppy Sydney

While attention understandably focused on D’Arcy Short as he blitzed his way to a staggeringly bold debut fifty off just 21 balls, very little was paid to the seam bowling he was tucking into which was inaccurate and appeared to be poorly planned. Whether or not the Sixers knew much about Hobart Hurricanes’ new left-handed opening batsman—and given that he made his return to the professional circuit almost 12 months ago they really should have—is irrelevant when you consider that most of their bowling would have been considered poor whoever the batsman, and wherever their strengths and weaknesses.

Short scored 56 of his 61 runs against seam from 19 of his 29 balls. The seamers’ line was generally either too straight or too wide and afforded Short easy pickings on the leg side or room to free his arms on the off side. Their length was too short and gave him the opportunity, on the rare occasion when they did get their line right, to back away and open up his arms, which he did on six occasions, bringing him 26 runs.

That Short only played three shots off the front foot against the seamers is reflected in the fact that they only bowled two deliveries fuller than 6.64 metres from his stumps. The Sydney bowlers appeared to decide very quickly that there was no swing or seam to be had and fell back onto a short length at an average pace of 78mph with no apparent plan and no control over their line, or respect paid to their field setting or the shorter boundary. They were punished appropriately.

The Big Short

That said, the inadequacy of Sydney’s bowling should not take anything away from Short’s innings. His fifty was impressive as much because of its nature as its detail – the bowling being poor doesn’t mean his ball-striking and confidence were not hugely impressive. Short did not edge a single shot and only mis-timed one in his innings. He scored 54 (13) from clean hits.

Spin slows the charge

While Short dominated the Sixers seamers, he scored just 5 (10) against the spinners. Stephen O’Keefe conceded just three runs from the eight deliveries he bowled at the left hander. O’Keefe simply bowled a tight off stump line, turning the ball into Short, and that was enough to keep him tied down.

Paine times his run 

While Short was attacking in the Powerplay Tim Paine did little more than turn over the strike and at the halfway stage of the innings he was scoring at less than a run-a-ball on 24* (26). With Short gone however Paine kicked on from there, scoring 39 from his next 19 balls. The shift was clearly intentional with Paine having defended 40% of his first 26 deliveries but 30% of his last 19.

Roy shows his class 

Jason Roy has played two template Powerplay innings this season, maximising the fielding restrictions with unfettered, albeit controlled, attack. At no point was that more apparent than from his fourth ball in this innings when, having edged a Shaun Tait away swinger wide of slip for four the ball previously, on the downswing of the next ball he followed the swing with his hands and drove through the covers for four.

Rose ruins the response 

Only twice before has a score of more than 200 been successfully chased in the BBL and neither of them have been at the SCG. Unless the Hurricanes bowled as poorly as the Sixers did in the Powerplay or someone played a special innings then this was an unlikely run-chase. Any slim chance that they would pull it off was all but ruined in the fourth over by two excellent pieces of fielding: first Stuart Broad took a tumbling catch at short third man to dismiss Jordan Silk from a Clive Rose ball that gripped and turned, then Rose himself took a brilliant reaction chance off his own bowling to remove Moises Henriques for a duck. The Hobart Hurricanes’ fielding score of 4.77 was 14.67 better than the Sixers’ -11.9.

Hurricane

Tait’s pitch map does not suggest a particularly good bowling performance; the line is wide and length very short. Tait is not your normal bowler though. Pitch maps such as the one above are to be expected – the key to his bowling is whether he can produce wicket-balls, and today he could. Five times Tait breached 90mph and his 92.23 mph in-swinging yorker to bowl Sam Billings was T20 fast bowling at his best. If he can produce two or three of them a match it almost doesn’t matter what he does with the rest.

CricViz will be covering all 35 Big Bash League matches live on Twitter @CricProf.

Big Bash League 2016/2017 Statistical Preview

Ahead of the Big Bash League season, CricViz has a look at some of the key numbers based on the career data of the 18-member squads.

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