Source: Julian Thompson

Exploring Cricket’s ‘The Hundred’ potential

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Existing readers will have read that preparations are underway to replace the women’s KIA Super League by the ‘The Hundred’ – a fast-and-furious cricket tournament. For four years, the game has been played as twenty overs per innings ‘20-20’. What will happen when more teams join the league and crucially, the number of balls bowled will be cut by 20%?

Strike rates per ball are calculated in proportion to runs scored per hundred balls. Quick-and-dirty analysis of Super League results (2019) reveal that only a handful of players can consistently average well over one-run-per ball: such as England’s top players: Danielle Wyatt and Fran Wilson.

Storm found three of the fastest scorers in their team. Firstly, Rachel Priest (New Zealand) scored 44 off 16 balls at a record 2.75 runs-per-ball in Storm v Stars.

Secondly, England’s Fran Wilson scored at 2.25 runs-per-ball when she slammed a match-winning 45 (not out) from only 20 balls (against Diamonds).

Thirdly, Sophie Luff made 31 (not out) off 18 balls in the same match – three days before their squad lifted the KIA Super League trophy.

Finalists – Southern Vipers’ fastest scorers

Only a handful of England players have scored at a faster rate than 1.5 runs-per-ball. Player of the Tournament – England’s Danielle Wyatt hit 61 fours, and 18 sixes from 11 matches. Wyatt’s final 73 came from 42 balls. She also made three fifties and a thirty-one at the higher strike rate of 1.7-1.9 runs-per-ball. For Vipers, Wyatt’s strike rate was matched only by Maia Bouchier – who’d faced mixed fortunes but struck a sparkling 23 off 13 balls when playing away, against Diamonds.

Semi-finalists – Loughborough Lightning’s fastest scorer

Third-placed Lightning’s Georgia Adams hit her maiden 50 (not out) against Thunder from 33 balls. As previously reported, Adams arrived with her captain (Georgia Elwiss) to stage a crucial mid-order recovery in worsening conditions. Both Georgias faced an England pairing on top form (Kate Cross and Sophie Ecclestone) who’d already seen off three international batters (including Hayley Matthews, West Indies) for just twelve runs. (see Diamonds defeat Stars and Lightning beats Thunder; 24 Aug).

Hundred potential

In summary, the Super League produced three players who’ve proved they can match top players’ strike rates: Georgia Adams, Sophie Luff and Maia Bouchier. From the England squad, Fran Wilson and Danielle Wyatt were the most consistent performers with the highest strike rates matching record-breaking overseas players such as Rachel Priest. Next year’s The Hundred tournament will be crucial to decide whether Adams, Luff or Bouchier can score with consistently high strike rates needed to play in England’s next World Cup team.

Pictured above fast scorer – Fran Wilson