The importance of stats
Statistics seldom lie! Sometimes selectors use them when they suit their purpose to drop or select a cricketer and at other times they do their own analysis by simply watching the players on the field of play and making their own determinations.
But it will be interesting to see how the regional selectors view the performances in the recent Caribbean Twenty20 cricket competition, in light of preparation for the World Twenty20 Cup in Sri Lanka in September.
If Clyde Butts and his selection panel are consistent, like they did when rewarding Trinidadian batsman Jason Mohammed and mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine with selection on the West Indies One-Day team based on their returns in last year’s Regional Super50 in Guyana, then a few players who would normally guarantee spots in the West Indies’ T20 squad could be found wanting.
That policy is encouraging but it’s a pity that Tino Best, who was named as a reserve for last year’s World Cup, wasn’t so lucky.
Neither was Ryan Hinds after his 2010 all-round display nor was off-spinner Ryan Austin, who was the leading wicket-taker in the 2011 Regional first-class championship. Now Best has put his name in the reckoning again by emerging as one of the most economical and penetrative bowlers in the Caribbean T20.
Whereas Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul (4.23) was the most economical bowler, capturing seven wickets at an average (ave) of 14.42, Best, now seemingly more mature as a bowler, showed there is a place for genuine pace in T20 cricket.
What was impressive was how he varied pace with well disguised slower deliveries and at 30-year-old, deserves another chance on the big stage.
The fiery Best, whose economy rate was 4.78 and compatriot Fidel Edwards (4.86), who missed the first two matches, bowled with pace and penetration, bagging 10 and eight wickets respectively at 11.00 and 9.12 runs apiece.
While some of Best’s antics and general showmanship sometimes may go over the top, it is really prejudicial that some commentators singled him out but warmed to the histrionics of others like Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy.
That aside, other bowlers, who delivered a minimum of ten overs with an economy rate of fewer than five runs an over were Trinidadian spinners Samuel Badree (4.31) and Narine (4.36); the Windward Islands’ off-spinner Shane Shillingford (4.50) and Sussex’s leg-spinner William Beer (4.53).
Badree took eight wickets at an average of 11.87; Narine got seven at 13.71; Shillingford snared 10 scalps at 10.80 and Beer captured three wickets at 22.66.
Jamaican leg-spinner Odean Brown (4.81) with his eight wickets at 13.25 and Hinds (4.89) after taking four wickets at 25.50 were also under the five-runs-an-over limit.
It should be noted that Combined Campuses and Colleges’ captain Romel Currency send down just five overs and took four wickets with an economy rate of 4.40; Barbadian fast bowler Carlos Brathwaite (4.44) also took four wickets from nine overs and Sussex’s captain Michael Yardy got three wickets from eight overs at 4.75 runs an over.
Windwards’ opener Johnson Charles (207 runs, average 41.40, Strike Rate (S/R) 123.95) amassed the most runs, followed by Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner (172, ave: 34.40, S/R 96.08) while the big-hitting Pollard had the best strike rate of 218.57 and best average of 153.00 after being dismissed just once. He also hit the most sixes – 16.
Barbadian Dwayne Smith (165 runs, ave: 33.00) was next in line. He had a strike rate of 136.36 and struck 10 sixes.
It is noteworthy that Smith was the only batsman in the Barbados team among the ten players with more than 100 runs as Kevin Stoute (82, ave: 41.00, S/R 87.23); captain Kirk Edwards (72, ave: 24.00, S/R 84.70); Shane Dowrich (60, ave: 20.00, S/R 88.23); Jonathan Carter (51, ave: 17.00, S/R 71.83) and Alcindo Holder (43, ave: 14.33, S/R 100.00) didn’t live up to expectations.
Four Trinidadians – Pollard, Lendl Simmons (152, ave: 25.33, S/R 120.63), Darren Bravo (138, ave: 34.50, S/R 97.87) and his older brother Dwayne Bravo (121, ave: 30.25, S/R 99.18) – scaled the 100-run mark.
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse of Barbados had the distinction of delivering the most maiden overs (three) while taking eight wickets in 18.5 overs at an average of 11.12 and economy rate of 4.72.
St Lucian Garey Mathurin, who replaced him for the two T20s in England, took six wickets (ave: 20.16) with an economy rate of 5.04 from his maximum 24 overs.
West Indies captain Sammy took six wickets at an average of 16.28 and an economy rate of 5.42 while he scored 77 runs (ave: 25.66) with a strike rate of 137.50.
Leg-spinner Anthony Martin was one of the most expensive bowlers in the tournament with an economy rate of 9.06 after taking four wickets at an average of 36.35.
Andre Russell scored just two wickets in six matches at an average of 66.50 and an economy rate of 5.78 and scored 57 runs (ave: 14.25, S/R 116.32).
Guyana’s captain Chris Barnwell scored 54 runs (ave: 18.00, S/R 94.73) and took two wickets (ave: 29.00, economy rate: 7.25).
Some other West Indian players worth mentioning are Marlon Samuels (112 runs, ave: 28.00, S/R 96.55, two wickets, ave: 25.00, S/R 9.37); Kieron Powell (99 runs, ave: 33.00, S/R 117.85); Adrian Barath (87 runs, ave: 14.50, S/R 94.56); Danza Hyatt (65 runs, ave: 10.83, S/R 69.14) and Miles Bascombe (59 runs, ave: 11.80, S/R 69.41).
The batting stats of the other West Indian wicket-keepers apart from Dowrich are – Carlton Baugh (83 runs, ave: 27.66, S/R 125.75); Andre Fletcher (85, ave: 17.00, S/R 96.59); Chadwick Walton (74, ave: 18.50, S/R 94.87); Devon Thomas (47 runs, ave: 15.66, S/R 109.30) and Denesh Ramdin (42 runs, ave: 14.00, S/R 84.00) while Derwin Christian made 13 runs in his two innings.