Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To Bat Freely

Kolkata Knight Riders 130/7 (20/20 ov); Sunrisers Hyderabad 132/5 (18.5/20 ov)
Sunrisers Hyderabad won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)

Gautam Gambhir won the toss and decided to bat first, saying they wanted to bat freely. If you were a punter engaged in session betting, believing in goodness of all men, how would have you put your bets. Of course, for the runs to be scored as offered by the bookie. And you won't have been disappointed seeing a 4 being hit off the 2nd ball. But undoubtedly with what followed thereafter.

While telling the world that they were going to bat freely, this is how the dangerous KKR batsmen scored in the first ten overs of the first session.

5,5,7,3,7,6,9,5,5, and 4. The score at the end of 6 overs was 33/1, less than even 6 runs per over in the power-play overs. If there were a 6 over session being offered by a bookie, the scoring remained such that the ultimate score was equal to or less than the minimum score that would have been offered by the bookies at any point of time during those 6 overs, even by adopting an average of 6.5 runs per over, generally that must have been at least 7, and even if that of 6 runs per over were adopted after fall of 1st wicket (in 4.3 overs) for remainder of the 6 overs. Something happening which has a probability of 0.5^30 or 0.5^24, if bookie opened the session after 1st over. 

Same applied to the standard session of 10 overs, score at the end being 56/2. Something happening again which would have been an impossibility if natural cricket was played, as seen earlier. This is how KKR batted freely.

KKR didn'/couldn't bat freely even in the remaining 10 overs with as many as 8 wickets in hand, and could muster only 130/7 in 20 overs.

Let us also see how odds behaved during the match. To start with SRH were the favourites with odds of 1.86, and odds hardly ever went beyond that, never after fall of 1st KKR wicket. So for all practical purposes, the match remained one-sided. But some jitters were caused up the spines of SRH backers towards the end, as is done quite often in otherwise  one-sided matches, when from 100/1 in 13.2 overs, SRH slumped to 112/5 in 17.5 overs. Requiring to score just 131 to win they were under no pressure to collapse like that. Was it to or did it justify the absurd late inclusion of wicket-taking bowlers into attack by KKR? 

If you are playing to win, defending a low total you will press your lethal bowlers into attack earlier than normal in an effort to get early wickets. In this match, KKR did the opposite. Sunil Naraine, their known trump card bowled just 1 over before the match was virtually over by the 9th over. And Iqbal Abdulla, who turned out to be the most successful bowler, was pressed into attack as late as the 11th over.

During KKR batting, strangely enough the odds remained stable at 1.7 in f/o SRH even though breaking the shackles, good 9 runs were scored in the 15th over. Sure wicket of Kallis fell the first ball of the 16th over. The bookies had again shown that they were equipped with supernatural powers.

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