Besides having the chance to play indoor we are also blessed that there is a website with a wealth of information and stats. The fellas at the desk and the umps do their best, but we cannot fault their website. Now that the regular season has just ended let’s have a look at where we are at before the finals.
Very similar to 2009 we ended up positioned snugly behind Mach (20 points) in second place (19), followed by Sano (18) and Wyverns (18). All top four had a 5-2 win/loss ratio. Probably the best win of the season was the last ball nail-biter against Mach. Not many teams roll the gals over so well done to the Sharks. Our two losses were by small margins, 9 runs to Wyverns and 6 runs to Sano. Both teams have female players and we had our chances in both to win. The games have been covered in other reports so let’s look at some interesting stats among the top four:
Runs………..For (Ave.) [vs CSCC]…… Against
Mach………..785 (112.1) ………..666 (95) 
Sano…………705 (100.7) ………..574 (82) 
Wyverns…….610 (87.1) ………….533 (76.1) 
Sharks……….582 (83.1)………………..484 (69.1)
Sharks……..26 (3.7)…..52 (7.4)
Wyverns……33 (4.7)…..48 (6.8)
Sano………..40 (5.7)……34 (4.8)
Mach……….45 (6.5)……35 (5)
The figures are a little hard to compare because of the bonus points for runs-off-the-bat for female players. Sano and Wyverns usually field two women, so given that, our innings average of 83 was pretty good. We could probably improve on that, however. Seventy-two is a run a ball. In most cases we pushed the other three teams in our games bar the Wyverns game – a very bad day at the office when we batted. We do not give up our wickets easily, losing less than 4 per innings, and may be it’s an attitude we could transfer to outdoor!
As one would expect we were the best bowling team. This is not being cocky, it is just that bowling is probably the hardest cricket skill to learn if you take the sport up at a later age. We take twice as many wickets as we lose, and even in games we lose we generally take more wickets than the opposition. While the figures are not listed here, we do occasionally cough up too many extras (see below).
We are clearly the best defensive team in the competition, only giving up about 69 runs per innings. Of course, the bowlers should (WILL) take a lot of (ALL) the credit, however run-outs account for a good percentage of wickets. We could probably improve our catching as from memory we do carpet quite a few net chances.
So seeing we are SOOO bloody good, why do we lose at all?
Extras – we must limit the wides and no-balls. We should be able to bowl consistent lines. Extras have really hurt us in a couple of games. We gifted 26 runs in our 6-run loss to Sano (not the only reason, mind you). Considering we already take a lot of wickets an extra is not only runs given they are a wicket-chance lost.
Trying too hard – we sometimes try to blast girls out (see Extras). Batters fear our bowlers (ya hear stuff behind the stumps). No other team has our call on multiple firepower. Especially against the women players our speed is a weapon, but it can also be our weakness. Just a slight margin of error and they have two free runs on a wide or no ball, and probably three as wides are hard to collect cleanly and they are sharp runners. When we are on the stumps, great, but we might need to put line and length before venom and velocity at times.
Running – This is an area in which we are improving. It is also one where the other teams, many younger, lighter and more fleet of foot, have it over us. We need to call better and remember we do not always need to run on hit shots. Thankfully the more players play, the more it sinks in. But another area is picking up extra runs on wides and overthrows, which Japanese players do well. We saw some great running over the last few games so that is a positive. Our biggest rivals have the advantage of bonus runs for women so we need to even that up a bit by picking up extra runs here and there. In some cases it can meaning winning or losing. We should also not make it easy for the fielders. While it not something for the ‘purists’ or faint-hearted, running the line of the throw to the stumps helps and grounding your bat will put an element of doubt into the umpires mind.
Percentage batting – we have good mix of demolition experts, generally someone steps up, and players who can push it around. We need everyone to get wood on the ball for consistent singles, but also take advantage of wides. If it is clearly going down leg we need to leave it rather than hook or pull for a single. But also we need to realise that beside one or two players most ‘keepers will struggle down leg. We could pick up runs on wides. The latter is the runner’s responsibility to call and the batter to know that. The other teams do this to great advantage, especially Mach, turning 2 wides into 3.
It will be interesting to compare stats for the finals. To win it we need to improve a little bit in each area. Let’s get our sticky fins on some large, gaudy, plastic gold-ware this year.
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