Throughout these 6 big occasion matches one player has really been extraordinary: left arm quick bowler Michael Bates.
Here are his results:
|2009/10 HRV Cup final||Central Districts||Loss||4-0-61-3|
|2010/11 HRV Cup Final||Central Districts||Win||4-1-18-4|
|2011 Champions League T20||Kolkata Knight Riders||Loss||4-0-13-1|
|2011 Champions League T20||Somerset||Loss||4-1-13-2|
|2011/12 HRV Cup Final||Canterbury||Win||3-0-18-3|
This gives him an average of 7.88, an economy rate of 6.09 and a strike rate of 7.64. If we just look at the last 2 years, removing the first final at the postage stamp sized Pukekura Park, his figures become 18-2-73-14. That is a breath-takingly low economy rate of 4.06, average of 5.2 and strike rate of 7.71.
How good are those numbers? Here are some comparisons: The best averaging bowler in the world is Krishmar Santoki from Jamaica who averages 8.56; the best economy rate is Samuel Badree from Trinidad and Tobago who's economy rate is 4.43; the best strike rate is also Santoki at 9.3. Bates's figures in the last 5 finals are better than all of these. Now it is true that 5 matches is a small sample size, but the results are still outstanding.
Given these numbers it is staggering that he hasn't been picked up by an overseas team of some variety. He hasn't even been picked for New Zealand A.
Now sometimes a bowler can get good figures by getting bad batsmen out. Not the case with Bates, here is the list of his dismissals:
* - has batted in the top 6 in International Cricket
In his other T20 matches, when the stage is not so big, he has preformed reasonably well, but not nearly as well as he has on the big stage. Here are his stats excluding these matches: 86.5-1-755-25 Average 30.2, Economy Rate 8.73, Strike Rate 20.76.
Teams need consistent performers. But they also need players that can step up on the big occasions. So far Michael Bates has proved that he can do just that.