Monday 12 December 2011

Man of the match?

There is quite a kerfuffle here in the land of the long white cloud about the man of the match award from the Bellerive test going to David Warner rather than Doug Bracewell. It is as if we are so used to complaining after a cricket match (because we are fairly used to losing the match) that we just have to complain about something.

But this blog is for the purpose of (semi-)objectively answering those questions, so we can look at the merits of the two performances.

First of all their context-less place in test match history:

Warner scored 123* in the second innings. This is 1759th equal best score out of 57407 innings(at least 1 minute batted). This puts it in the 96.9th percentile.

Bracewell took 6/40 in the second innings. These are the 438th best bowling figures out of 38907 bowling innings (at least one over bowled in an innings) This is in the 98.9th percentile.

At the moment Bracewell has the edge.

But it is not the man of the innings - it is man of the match. So lets look at match totals:

Warner's total runs were 138, with one dismissal, putting him 2198th equal out of 35258 match totals (at least 1 minute batted). This puts him in the 93.8th percentile.

Bracewell took 9/60, which is the 386th equal best figures out of 23952. This is in the 98.4th percentile of all bowling performances.

Again this favours Bracewell. - But this is unsurprising. It was a bowlers wicket, and you would expect bowling figures to look better than batting figures.

What about the contribution to the team?

Warner scored 138 runs out of 383. 36% of the team runs.
Bracewell took 9 wickets out of 20. 45% of the team wickets.

Overall there were 745 runs scored for the loss of 40 wickets. Each wicket was therefore worth 18.625. By scoring 138 in his two innings, Warner was effectively 3.7 times better than the average batsman. Bracewell took his wickets at 6.67 runs per wicket making him 2.8 times better than average, but he also scored 16 runs in his two innings, which is an 0.43, giving him a total of 3.23 times better than average.

This is one analysis that Warner comes out ahead on.

But if we say that each wicket was worth 18.625, and Bracewell took 9 of them, then his wickets were worth 167 runs. Which is more than the 138 that Warner scored.

I have only 2 metrics left.

Warner scored 138. The next highest scorer was Brownlie who got 77, and was out twice, so averaged 38.5 Warner was 3.6 times better than the next best batsman on that pitch.

Bracewell took 9/60. The next best was Pattinson who took 8/105. Brownlie averaged 6.67, Pattinson averaged 13.13. Bracewell was 1.97 times better than the second best bowler on the pitch.

So Bracewell is ahead on 3, and Warner leads on 2.

The final measure is how they well they did their job. This is not something that can be measured with anything other than a 1 or a 0.

Innings 1. Bracewell's job was to support Brownlie. He lasted for 14.1 overs, and was part of the largest partnership in the NZ innings. He did his job. 1. Warner was not called on to bowl, and did not have any catches that I can remember go his way. No score.

Innings 2. Warners job was to see off the new ball, and then score some runs. He was out before drinks, while the ball was still only 8.4 overs old. He only scored 15 runs. 0. Bracewell's job was to take wickets, and do it cheaply. He took 3/20 off 10 overs. 1.

Innings 3. Warner again played no part. Bracewell's job was to first support Young, and then to score some runs. He didn't really manage to score enough (only got 4). 0

Innings 4. Warner needed to bat through the innings, and score enough guns to carry Australia home. Shielding the tail, and scoring sensibly. He failed to shield the tail, and as a result didn't have the chance to take his team home. 0. Bracewell's job was to take wickets. He got 6 of them, including Ponting, Clarke, and Hussey. He also cleaned up the tail. 1

Totals: Warner 0/2 = 0 Bracewell 3/4 = 0.75

Warner had a good game. He was Australia's best player, but he didn't do what was required for his team to win the game. There is an argument for him to be the man of the match, but it was quite clear, from my (only slightly biased) position that the true man of the match was one Doug Bracewell.


  1. Hey Michael,

    Everyone knows that Doug Bracewell won that game. It was a "Vodafone" viewers' choice which screwed him. Lots of Aussies voting and it only looked like New Zealand would win in the last hour or so (probably a point way after much of the votes can been cast).

    I think it is simple - a) if Australia win, then Warner gets it.b) if NZ win, then Bracewell gets it.

    Enjoy the hours in the spotlight!

    It was great having you on the podcast last night!

  2. Yeah I understood the dynamic, I just wanted to compare their two performances. I feel the man of the match goes too often to batsmen.

    My father used to run a business that took care of public voting. It was quite revolutionary at the time. We lost the contract after Dipak Patel got man of the match for a game that we got thrashed in. He was the 12th man.

    I look forward to listening to the whole podcast tomorrow. :)

  3. Couldn't agree more that batsmen get it way too often. It's bowlers who win you matches. Similarly forwards winning rugby matches, backs determining how much by. Although recent analysis saw that number 7s have become way more important than number 10s thanks to the breakdown being the most important element of the modern game.

    That is a crazy story about your father and Dipak Patel. The Warner MOTM must have been all too familiar.