Monday 2 July 2012

The Pollard and Gayle innings

Yesterday I got to witness two outstanding innings from Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard. It made me wonder how they measured up against other innings in T20 internationals this year.

To do this I used a modified batting index score. Batting index is basically the average multiplied by the runs per ball. It is a good measure of how effective a batsman is in limited overs cricket. The problem with using it for single innings is that anyone who gets not out has an infinite score. To counter this I have created a modified index, that I'm going to call innings value. To calculate this there are two options. If the batsman is out, then it is his score multiplied by his score minus 5 divided by the number of balls he faced. For example, if someone got out for 90 off 45 balls his score would be 90 x 85 / 45 or 170. If a batsman gets not out it is his score squared divided by the balls faced. I chose to subtract 5 as when I did an analysis on the cost of wickets each wicket that fell tended to cost a team 5 runs. So if a batsman gets out his team scored 5 runs less (on average).

Here are the top 10 innings this year:

RE Levi (SA) 117* 51v New Zealand Hamilton 268.41
PR Stirling (Ire) 7938v Afghanistan Dubai (DSC) 153.84
MJ Guptill (NZ) 91* 54v Zimbabwe Auckland 153.35
CH Gayle (WI) 85* 52v New Zealand Lauderhill 138.94
KA Pollard (WI) 63* 29v New Zealand Lauderhill 136.86
AD Hales (Eng) 9968v West Indies Nottingham 136.85
BRM Taylor (Zim) 75* 43v New Zealand Hamilton 130.81
PR Stirling (Ire) 61* 32v Canada Dubai (DSC) 116.28
WTS Porterfield (Ire) 56* 27v Kenya Dubai (DSC) 116.15
CA Ingram (SA) 7850v India Johannesburg 113.88

Now there are a few scores in here against 2nd tier nations, but those runs still had to be scored, and so I feel they merit a place in this list. Paul Stirling managed to make the list twice in the tournament in Dubai.

Both of yesterday's innings are in the top 10, and are both ranked about the same as Hales 99 and Taylor's 75*, which feels about right. Both would have been match winning scores in most situations, and coming together in the same match made the West Indies target completely unreachable for New Zealand. It will be interesting to see if there is a repeat dose today.

It also highlights just how good Levi's innings in Hamilton was, in that he scored faster than Pollard, but for almost twice as long.


  1. Funny isn't it how most of the innings are from lower ranked countries.

  2. The lower ranked nations play more T20, particularly the associates - when I last looked, T20 games played by non-full-member nations comprised about 75% of all T20 games between international sides. Unfortunately, most of them don't count as "official" even when they are against teams with ODI status. Thus, Louis van der Westhuizen's obliteration of Kenya and Scotland will be forgotten when they ought to be first and third on the list.