Saturday 22 January 2011


I just watched a very brief ODI between New Zealand. It was the third of 3 ODI matches that were played over 2 days in the Southern Hemisphere.

First Australia eventually beat England by a quite large margin, then the rain robbed South Africa of another opportunity to choke against India, and then finally New Zealand snapped their 11 match losing streak in ODI's with a performance that defied most superlatives.

But despite these games going slightly against recent form, all three of them continue a long-term trend. These three matches were all played at fortresses.

By a fortress I mean a ground where the home team has won more than twice as many as they lose, and have a RPO scored of more that 0.5 more than RPO conceded. The lucky coincidence is that these three games were played at the grounds that are at the top of the list for RPO difference.

Here is the list of the 6 fortresses: (qualification 15 matches)

TeamStadiumW/LRPO forRPO againstRPO difference
New ZealandCaketin, Wellington2.405.164.370.79
South AfricaNewlands, Cape Town6.254.964.180.78
AustraliaBellerive Oval, Hobart3.665.054.330.72
West IndiesArnos Vale, St Vincent5.664.413.820.59
South AfricaSpringbok Park, Bloemfontein2.005.104.540.56
South AfricaBuffalo Park, East London2.754.864.320.54

There is one interesting result in there, Arnos Vale in St Vincent (pictured above). The results there are certainly helped by 3 matches against Zimbabwe and 2 matches against Bangladesh, but even removing these matches, they still have a W/L ratio of 4 and a RPO difference of 0.4. The other extraordinary thing about this is that all but one of the matches are after 1992. (That's after the retirement of Marshall, Garner, Holding, Richards etc.)

The next 3 games are at Centurion, Adelaide and Queenstown, all of which only just miss out on this list, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see a repeat of the last two days results.

There is only one ground in the world that is a fortress for the away teams, Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka. Bangladesh have won only 3 of 32 matches there, and have conceded 1.2 runs per over more than they have scored. However, with the improvement in the Bangladesh team, and the extra teams that have been given ODI status, look for that statistic to change.

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