Monday 16 April 2012

Mini-session analysis 2nd test WI Aus Trinidad 12

Here is the final mini-session analysis for the 2nd test between West Indies and Australia at Queens Park in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

A mini-session is (normally) half a session, either between the start of the session and the drinks break or the drinks break and the end of the session. Occasionally a long session will have 3 mini-sessions where it will be broken up with 2 drinks breaks.

1-1aAustralia 53/0 off 14Australia
1-1bAustralia 21/2 off 13West Indies
1-2aAustralia 33/1 off 15West Indies
1-2bAustralia 25/0 off 14draw
1-3aAustralia 46/2 off 17West Indies
1-3bAustralia 30/0 off 17Australia
2-1aAustralia 15/1 off 9.1West Indies
2-1bAustralia 44/0 off 12.5Australia
2-2aAustralia 23/0 off 13draw
2-2bAustralia 21/4 off 10West Indies
2-3aWest Indies 38/3 off 15.1Australia
2-3bWest Indies 11/0 off 10.2Australia
3-1aWest Indies 51/1 off 17.1West Indies
3-1bWest Indies 32/0 off 17.2draw
3-2aWest Indies 56/0 off 14.3West Indies
3-3aWest Indies 42/1 off 12.4West Indies
3-3bWest Indies 22/4 off 16.5Australia
4-1West Indies 5/1 off 0.4West Indies
Australia 40/2 off 20
4-2Australia 33/1 off 10Australia
5-1Australia 50/2 off 25West Indies
5-2aAustralia 37/3 off 6.5Australia
5-2bWest Indies 52/2 off 11West Indies

West Indies win the mini-session count 11-8, but the rain wins the match. I counted 4-1a and 4-1b together as there was only 5 overs between drinks and the rain.

End of day 5:West Indies generally played better cricket in this test, but Australia were probably in the best position, had there been no rain. Australia seem to be quite good at taking wickets in bunches and not losing them in bunches.

Kemar Roach was the stand out performer in the match, taking a 10 wicket haul. He's only the 2nd West Indian to take a 10 wicket bag since Courtney Walsh retired.

The other performance of note was Michael Beer. While match figures of 2/66 are hardly astounding, the fact that he opened the bowling in both innings and looked threatening really gives the Australian selectors something to think about. If he can play a role like this, then he becomes a little more valuable for Australia.

We head now to Dominica, to see if West Indies can square up the series.

End of day 4:And than a good game was ruined. There's still time for a result, but I don't think it's going to happen. It's a pity, because this game was really looking good. Roach continued to be impressive, Ed Cowan continued to average 30 by scoring 30. But the real story was that rain ruined the game.

End of day 3:How quickly a game can change. In the last 17 overs West Indies went from 230/4 to 252/9. At 230/4 They were in the lead. Now they are in a lot of trouble. All 5 wickets went to Nathan Lyon. James Pattinson seems to have been under bowled, There seems little point in bringing in a quick bowler and giving him only 11 overs out of 104.

Tomorrow will be an interesting challenge for the Australian batsmen. They will probably have a lead of about 50 runs. But 3 quick wickets and the game swings back towards West Indies. The problem with that is that if they take too long to score, West Indies should be able to bat out for a draw. There have been very few batsmen dismissed defending in this test, so Australia will want to give themselves at least 4 sessions to bowl West Indies out. Their best chance will be to set West Indies about 280 with 4 sessions remaining. That will almost certainly be too much to score on this pitch, but it will be small enough that they might have a shot at it, allowing Australia a better chance to take the wickets. Unfortunately captains just don't do this in test matches. They would have to take too many risks to score the runs that quickly, and there is no way that Clarke would declare in that situation. The closest declaration that we have seen to this in the last 10 years was probably when Ponting set India 299 off 85 overs in Bangalore, 2008. There are a very good set of articles about declarations (and captaincy in general) on the Declaration Game which is one of the blogs that I read the most.

Tea day 3: Again Chanderpaul is making Australia suffer. They dropped him on 8, and he is adding insult to injury now. Deonarine made a very patient start (3 off 41) before starting to assert himself (34 off the next 60). This partnership has eaten up almost all the advantage that Australia had. Something interesting to look for: If Chanderpaul gets out for 136 in this innings or more, he will have got his career batting average up to 50, that's very impressive, given he averaged 39 after 50 matches.

End of day 2: Michael Beer became the first spin bowler to open the bowling for Australia in the first innings of a test since 1938. Michael Clarke's decision to do this worked wonders. The first session tomorrow wil rest on how Chanderpaul and Bravo settle in. Bravo is due for a big innings, and a lot of the batsmen who have scored big at Queens Park have been ones who move their feet a lot (like Chanderpaul). With the ball turning and bouncing, this could be an awesome couple of days of test cricket.

Tea day 2: West Indies will be happy to have restricted Australia to 311. Over the last 10 years every team that has scored under 350 in the first innings at Queens Park has gone on to lose the match. However it seems to be playing a bit more like the Queens Park of the 90's where low scoring matches were the norm. It is obviously a very difficult pitch to score on. Hussey and Pattinson put on a long partnership but played and missed a lot, and it took them 39 overs to score 89 runs.

End of day 1: West Indies will be happy with the position that they are in. The team that bats first in Barbados normally gets a big score, so restricting Australia to 205 at the end of the first day is quite an effort. Australia will also be reasonably upbeat, knowing that there is potentially a lot of runs in their tail, and they have only lost 5 wickets. It seems an odd decision to have left out Harris, as he bowls very good cutters, and they could be very dangerous on this pitch. It might be the sort of test where Michael Hussey gets to bowl quite a few of his ugly but effective overs also.

Tea day 1: West Indies have put Australia under a lot of scoreboard pressure. Sammy and Shillingford have bowled very tightly. Shillingford seems to have an ability to make the batsmen misjudge the length. This is one of the best weapons that a spin bowler can posses, so he may be better than his mediocre statistics suggest. A low, slow pitch could make for an interesting test match.


  1. Here's hoping that day 5 won't be rain affected, I wouldn't put it past Clarke to try and bash another 100 runs to make the lead about 220, then give the Windies 60 overs to chase it down/ be bowled out. That would be a truly attacking move, and would make for some very exciting cricket.

  2. It would be amazing if he did that. I would love that, but I can't see it happening unfortunately.

    1. It seems he tried, but alas, thwarted by the rain.

  3. The mini-session is a really helpful unit for assessing the game. Do you have a formula for judging to whose advantage a mini-session belongs, or is it judgement?

    Not all mini-session victories are equal, as some are match changing. I would guess that they tend to be those with advantage to the bowling team as batting collapses change matches faster than partnerships. Have you noticed any features of those mini-sessions - e.g. do they tend to happen when a new ball is taken?

    Very grateful for the comment about Declaration Game.


    1. Part of the reason I'm doing these is for my own interest. I decided to do every test of the year, and then analyse them at the end.

      The bowling team is much more likely to have a big win, often at the end of an innings. I have some ideas for rectifying this, but they are tricky to implement, so I'm going to wait until next year before changing my system too much. The only change I've made is allowing some mini-sessions to be drawn.

      I have a formula, based on run-rates and wickets that fall, but it's not hard and fast. I sometimes decide on a mini-session based on my own gut feeling. (I've actually written an excel sheet that writes the HTML code for me, so I just have to enter in the scores, and then copy and paste.)

      One thing I have noticed is that most games are reasonably close. Even a team that get thrashed sometimes wins a even number of hours.
      Case in point, 2nd test South Africa vs Sri Lanka: Here's the scorecard: And the mini-session analysis: