Monday, 5 December 2011

Important Moments and Momentum

Test 1 between New Zealand and Australia was a complete rout on the scoreboard. Australia won by 9 wickets, and left the New Zealand public angry and their supporters bewildered.

But how much did Australia actually dominate the match?

Because I'm a bit of a NZ cricket masochist, I went through the game, mini-session by mini-session. (a mini-session is between a break and drinks) There were 22 of these in this game. Before analysing them I wrote up a set of criteria to decide who had won each mini-session and who had lost it. Some of them were quite close, but most of them were actually quite decisive to one team or the other.

Overall New Zealand won 7 of the 22 mini-sessions, with the most dominant being scoring 49/0 in 12 overs on the second morning, or taking 3/33 at the start of the final session on the third day. Australia won 15, but they slightly edged the majority of the close sessions. If I adjusted the criteria slightly it would probably be 13-9 or 12-10.

The big difference though was in three key mini-sessions The second mini-session, New Zealand lost 3 wickets for 50 runs. The second mini-session on the 2nd day New Zealand lost 5 wickets for 72 runs. And then the first mini-session on the fourth (and final) day where NZ lost 4/48 off 11.

Looking at that session, it was 48/1 off 10, and 0/3 off one over. That over made such a difference, and it was one of a number of moments that really defined the game.

Here are a few others: Ricky Ponting should have been run out for 0, but instead went on to score 78; Michael Clarke was bowled off a no ball on 23, he went on to score another 116 runs; Mitchel Starc was dropped on 0 and went on to score 32. That's 226 runs that were gifted to Australia.

To win a test match against Australia, New Zealand need to win the key moments. They can't afford to lose them, or else they will get beaten up again.

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