Archive for the Sport Category

Par scores in T20 cricket

Posted in Cricket with tags , , on July 26, 2017 by telescoper

So last night Glamorgan won a Natwest T20 Blast match against Gloucestershire by 25 runs having batted first and scored 176 off their 20 overs. Glamorgan are now top of the `South Division’, despite having three games rained off. They play second-placed Surrey on Friday. Weather permitting.

Anyhow, last night when I saw the result I got to wondering what the par score is for a first innings in Twenty20 (i.e. median score for a winning side batting first).  Would you have expected them to win with a score of 176? The answer – and the answers to many other questions – can be found in this interesting post.

P.S. If you can’t be bothered to read the post, the median winning score for men’s T20 matches is about 164 so Glamorgan had a better-than-even chance of winning after their first innings.

Strike Rate

I haven’t blogged for the last two weeks – partly because life has been busy, but also because I’ve struggled to come up with anything to say that provides particular insights about individual BBL or WBBL matches that are being played. I will return to this, and will continue to post key stats about various matches on the Strike Rate twitter account.

In this post, I’m posting my analysis of ‘par scores’ for T20, and how they vary between the men’s and women’s game, and in different parts of the world. This is useful for understanding what sort of score can be expected in particular conditions.

Par scores are calculated as run rates, which can be converted into total scores by multiplying by 20. This is more useful than raw total scores, since not all innings last for the full 20 overs. When a team wins in the second innings…

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Women’s Cricket World Cup Winners!

Posted in Cricket on July 23, 2017 by telescoper

There wasn’t any cricket in Cardiff today because  Glamorgan’s T20 Blast match was abandoned without a ball being bowled. However, that meant I was able to follow the thrilling final of the Women’s World Cup at Lord’s, which was won by England by 9 runs.

I didn’t think England’s total of 228/7 off 50 overs was going to be enough, and India seemed to be set for a comfortable win, but England’s bowlers stuck to their task magnificently and India crumbled in the last five overs to be bowled out for 219, having lost their last 6 wickets for just 24 runs.

A great performance by England and a magnificent advertisement for Women’s Cricket in front of a sellout crowd at Lord’s. I think this may herald a huge surge in popularity for the women’s game. Congratulations to England and commiserations to India.

Now, is there anything to stop England fielding an all-female team against South Africa on Thursday? England women played with a lot more determination today than the men did against South Africa at Trento Bridge!

Natwest T20 Blast: Glamorgan v Sussex

Posted in Cricket with tags , , , on July 22, 2017 by telescoper

Last night’s Twenty20 match in Cardiff was planned as a staff social outing for members of the School of Physics & Astronomy at Cardiff University. I had to do some things at home before the 6.30 start so didn’t join the group that went to a pub first but went straight to the ground.

It had rained much of the day, but stopped around 6pm. When I got to the ground the covers were still on:

The umpires inspected the pitch at 7pm, and during their deliberations it started drizzling. They decided to have another look at 7.30.

I stayed inches ground, updating the rest of the staff group who happily stayed in the pub while I sat in the gloom of a sparsely populated SWALEC.

Eventually the ground staff started to remove the covers

The toss was finally thrown at 8pm. Glamorgan won and decided to field. Play would start at 8.30, with 9 overs per side.

Play did get under way at 8.30..

It was predictably knockabout stuff, with Sussex slogging from the word go. They reached 87 for 2 off 8 overs, but then the rain returned. A little after 9pm the game was abandoned. Fewer than 10 overs having been bowled, tickets were refunded.

It was a shame that we didn’t get a full game, not only because the social event was a damp squib, but also because Glamorgan really wanted a win. Their previous match at the SWALEC (against Somerset last Saturday) was also rained off but their match  the following day against Essex in Chelmsford led to a victory with a six off the last ball as Glamorgan chased 220 to win off 20 overs.

Anyway, it’s the return match against Essex in Cardiff on Sunday so let’s hope for a full game then.

The Lord’s Day

Posted in Cricket with tags on July 8, 2017 by telescoper

I made it on time this morning to Lord’s to see the third day’s play of the First Test between England and South Africa from the brand new Warner Stand.

South Africa resumed on 214 for 5 chasing England’s first-innings total of 458. England’s bowlers bowled pretty well, but the batsmen, especially nightwatchman Philander, joined by wicketkeeper De Kock,  battled gamely and South Africa progressed to 361 all out, giving England a lead of 97.
England then resumed and batted slowly but safely to close on 119 for 1 off 51 overs, losing only Jennings for 33, ahead by 216. Cook was unbeaten on 59. They will be looking to push on tomorrow and try to build a lead of around 450 to try to force a result. There were definitely signs of turn and variable bounce  for the spinners so batting last may not be easy. 

Anyway, as always, it was a very enjoyable day, complete with Scottish entertainment in the luncheon interval:

Update: Checking the score at lunchtime on Sunday I discovered that England collapsed to 182 for 8, having been 139 for 1 at one stage. South Africa are now favourites to win this game, although England’s spinners will take heart from the fact that the ball is turning sharply.

Another update: the plot thickens. England managed to add another 50 runs courtesy of Bairstow and Wood, setting South Africa 331 to win. At tea they were 25 for 3. England definitely favourites again, but with South Africa’s two best batsmen Amla and De Kock at the crease..

Final update: 5.33pm. South Africa all out for  119. England win by 211 runs.

Natwest T20 Blast: Glamorgan v Hampshire 

Posted in Cricket on July 7, 2017 by telescoper

After a quick pint after work I headed to the SSE Swalec Stadium in Sophia Gardens for the first of this year’s games in Natwest Twenty20 Blast.

I was a little late getting there and two overs had already been bowled. Hampshire, batting first, were already 30 without loss; an over later they were for 0. At that rate they were going to reach 300!

However, three wickets fell quickly and Glamorgan managed to restrict Hampshire to 167 for 4, a decent score but not impossible.

During the innings break I took a wander and chose a different view for the Glamorgan innings, more or less opposite where I was for the first 20 overs, under the big screen.

Glamorgan got off to a terrible start, losing two wickets in the first over from which they never really recovered. Though Wagg scored a bright 50, and the they never  looked like getting the runs. Afridi was the pick of the Hampshire bowlers, taking 4 for 20 off his 4 overs.

Glamorgan finished on 145 for 9 so Hampshire won by 22 runs, a narrower margin than looked likely when Glamorgan were 47 for  5…

Despite the score, and the fact that it wasn’t proper cricket, it was quite good fun. About 7000 people were there.

Anyway, time for an early night. I have to get up with the lark tomorrow to head to London for some proper cricket.

A Day/Night County Match

Posted in Cricket on June 26, 2017 by telescoper

After two very busy weeks I decided to take a couple of days off to watch the County Championship match between Glamorgan and Derbyshire at the SSE Swalec Stadium here in Cardiff.

It turns out that this match is something of a landmark in that it’s the first ever Day/Night County match to be held in Wales.

The format of this match is like a regular 4-day County game except that each day’s play starts at 2pm rather than the usual 11am. This means that the “lunch” interval is taken at 4pm instead of 1pm, and “tea” is taken at 6.40. Play is scheduled to continue, with the aid of floodlights, until 9pm.

Oh, and they’re using a rather lurid pink ball…

I can see why they are trying this out: to see if they can get more people coming after work or school than would come with the usual 6pm close. At the moment (3.45pm) the attendance is about average for a county game…

I don’t like this new format, however, got two reasons. One is that it wastes three hours of daylight. I like to watch my cricket sitting in the sunshine rather in the twilight. As it happens, it was a beautiful morning in Cardiff today. I had the day off and would have relished watching the morning session basking in the sun. I couldn’t because there wasn’t one.

The other reason I don’t like it is that it finishes too late to have dinner at a reasonable hour. The food and drink available at the Swalec – particularly the beer – is overpriced and not of high quality, so I shall probably leave at the start of the tea interval. Unless it gets very exciting..

At the moment, Derbyshire are 68 for 1 off 24 overs. Madsen and Godleman not looking entirely comfortable but digging in.

UPDATE: It’s 5pm, Derbyshire are 104 for 2, and the lights have come on:

Glamorgan were quite slow getting through their overs so the Tea interval wasn’t taken until 7.09pm, with the fall of the 7th Derbyshire wicket with the score on 157. A good bowling performance from Glamorgan, but I decided to go home and make some dinner rather than stay for the last session. Quite a few others  left at the same time.

Play finished at about 10pm. Derbyshire rallied to finish on 288 all out, and Glamorgan batted two overs for 5 without loss. Appropriately enough, Glamorgan sent in a Night Watchman (Tim van den Gugten) to open the innings.

Cose da sapere su Cardiff

Posted in Bute Park, Cardiff, Football with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2017 by telescoper

Cardiff is gearing up for the UEFA Champion’s League final between Real Madrid and Juventus which takes place in the Principality Stadium on Saturday night. Cardiff University has produced this nice video featuring some students from Italy telling visitors about `things to know about Cardiff’, which I thought I’d share here:

There’s also a Spanish version here.

As you can imagine there’s quite a lot of disruption going on in the City ahead of this event, which is expected to attracted over 200,000 visitors. Last night one of the main roads was closed to allow the construction of a temporary footbridge to help manage the flow of people from Bute Park into the Stadium in the period just before the kickoff. There is only one small exit from the Park opposite the ground, which would probably cause considerable congestion, so the bridge will provide another route out, over the famous Animal Wall.

Cowbridge road was closed to vehicles and pedestrians for this operation, which I assumed would mean a bit detour for me on my walk home from the pub last night. Nevertheless, out of curiosity, I followed my normal route until I reached the construction site. A small group of people and a couple of very friendly policemen were there. I asked nicely if there was any possibility of getting past the road block rather than walking all the way around by side streets, and one of the officers said that if I waited for about 5 minutes they were going to open it up temporarily and let people through, which they did.

Cardiff Castle and Bute Park are being used to host a few thousand `Corporate VIP Guests’ during the weekend of the Final. For that a huge part of Bute Park – the entire area of Coopers Field – is closed to the public. Not only that, but the temporary buildings that have been erected there will cause so much damage to the grass that it will have to be completely re-seeded. This area will not be re-opened to the public until September at the earliest. This seems a very heavy price for the ordinary folk of Cardiff to pay for an event very few will be able to attend.

As well as congestion and crowd control, there is also the threat of terrorist activity (especially in the wake of the Manchester bomb). This morning as I walked into work I saw several groups of armed police officers. I’m not sure if they are intended to make people feel more secure, but they just made me feel nervous.


It’s quite easy to infer what the biggest concern is for the security services. The presence of vehicle barriers all round the city and the suspension of all vehicle traffic within a wide perimeter of the various fan zones suggests that they are worried about potential attacks involving cars or lorries running amok among the huge numbers of pedestrians. It’s sad that we have to think of such things, but these precautions seem entirely necessary.

I was toying with the idea of taking photographs of some of the security measures but on reflection thought that might not be a wise thing to do in case I was mistaken for someone plotting an atrocity!

My own plan for the Final is to shut myself in my house, batten down the hatches, cook myself a nice dinner and drink a nice bottle of wine. I’m completely neutral as far as the match is concerned. Whether it’s Real Madrid of Italy or Juventus of Spain, may the best team win!