IPL 2018-Looking forward to the playoffs

First the 2018 league table:

IPL League Table 2018

And the corresponding tables of 2015, 2016 and 2017 (in that order):

2015 IPL League2016 IPL league table2017 IPL League table

Note that the 2018 table shows a slight departure from the past. From 2015 to 2017, 16 points was a clear demarcator for qualifying for the playoff rounds. In 2018 RR has qualified with 14 points.

Does the position in the league table give a clear indication of the final winner?

In 2015: Winner MI (2nd in league), runners-up CSK (1st)

In 2016: Winner RCB (2nd), runners-up SRH (3rd)

In 2017: Winner MI (1st), runners-up RPS (2nd)

We see that in recent history the 2nd-ranked team in the league has slightly better chances – so CSK can be said to be the favourite (if one is superstitious).

 

 

 

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IPL 2018 at the three-quarter stage

The SRH-DD match on May 10 was the 42nd of 56 matches in the league, thus completing 75% of the matches. At this stage the table is:

IPL 2018 three-quarter

There are various complicated scenarios which can be looked at. But to keep it simple, we look back at the IPL seasons in 2015, 2016 and 2017 where a team with 16 or more points qualified for the playoffs. There is no case of any team qualifying with less than 16 points.

The 16 points would generally mean 8 wins, though it could also mean 7 wins and 2 no-results.

From the above table we see:

SRH have qualified.

CSK needs 1 win from 4 matches-practically qualified.

KXIP needs 2 wins from 4 matches-practically qualfied.

MI needs 3 wins from 3 matches (difficult).

KKR as for MI (difficult).

RR needs 4 wins from 4 matches (more difficult).

RCB needs 5 wins but have only 4 matches left (impossible).

DD needs 5 wins but have only 3 matches left (impossible).

Unless something very peculiar happens now, SRH, CSK and KXIP will qualify and the fourth place is between MI and KKR while RR has very little chance. MI is probably better off due to their higher NRR.

Of course, the points table after all 56 league matches does not offer much guidance as to who will win the championship. The playoffs are even more unpredictable than in “regular” tournaments like the World Cup.

 

IPL League matches 2018-what lies ahead

At the time of writing (after the RR-SRH match on 29/4), when 28 of the 56 league matches were over the points table was:

IPL 2018 halfway

Now we look at the final points table for 2015, 2016 and 2017:

2015:

2015 IPL League

2016:

2016 IPL league table

2017:

2017 IPL League table

The main concern now is to predict who will be in the last four. We see that in the three seasons a team needed 16 points to qualify. This would correspond to 8 wins, or 7 wins and two no-results. Once you are in the last four it is even more of a lottery than in “normal” tournaments such as the World Cup.

A quick look at the half-time table for 2018 shows that the leader SRH has played 8 matches and have 12 points. To just scrape through they need just 2 wins in 6 matches.

Second-placed CSK have 7 matches and 10 points. They need 3 wins in 7 matches.

At the bottom end, DD have 7 matches and 4 points. They need 6 wins from 7 matches. But if you look at the history of the IPL, probably comebacks like this have happened on rare occasions.

Next to the bottom there is RCB with 6 matches and 4 points. They need 6 wins from 8 matches.

Review of the Nidahas Trophy (2018)

This tournament is an one-off. There was another Nidahas Trophy in 1998 to mark the 50th anniversary of independence. That was also a triangular series but with 50-over matches. T20Is were still in the future.

This tournament was contested by Sri Lanka, India and New Zealand. Though the league matches were badly affected by rain, there was still a narrow 6-run win for India as Sri Lanka came close to chasing down a 300+ total in the final. Such things rarely happened in those days. See the scorecard:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/8560/scorecard/66157/sri-lanka-vs-india-final-singer-akai-nidahas-1998/

At least the host got to the final then, unlike on this occasion. This time it was Dinesh Karthik who won the match with one of the most famous last-ball sixes in limited-overs cricket history. But Javed Miandad may have something to say about that.

Here is a statistical summary of the 2018 edition. The sample size is too small to have meaningful figures for averages, strike rates and the like.

Most runs (90 and above):

Most runs

Kusal Perera made 3 fifties, while three others made two apiece.

Highest innings (40 and above):

Highest innings

Dhawan and RG Sharma have the highest scores.

During the SL v BD match on 16 Mar, there was a wisecrack that Mr Perera had scored 119 runs and took 5 catches.

Most wickets (4 and above):

Most wickets

India’s junior spinners lead here, with a number of highly experienced bowlers following.

Best innings bowling (including all 3wi and above):

Best innings bowling

The 4 top positions are by Indian bowlers.

Most dismissals (3 or more):

Most dismissals

Thissara Perera and Sabbir have the most (6) by non-keepers while Karthik (5) the most by keepers.

Most innings dismissals (2 or more):

Innings dismissals

Sabbir and Kusal Perera lead the non-keepers and keepers respectively.

All round performances (20+ runs and 2+ wickets in a match):

AR

Only one instance.

 

Bevan Congdon R.I.P. – and his Indian connection

Bevan Congdon, who was one of New Zealand’s major players in the 1960s and 1970s, died a few days ago a day before his 80th bithday.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/36611.html

Victories for New Zealand were few and far between in those days. At that time even India always considered them to be a lesser team. His tenure as captain included NZ’s first win against Australia in 1974, and earlier his 175 came close to bringing his team to an improbable win against England, making 440 and losing by 38 runs:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17229/scorecard/63108/england-vs-new-zealand-1st-test-new-zealand-tour-of-england-1973/

That was then the highest fourth-innings score in a loss, though it has since been surpassed.

Congdon was a part-time medium pacer. His best bowling and all-round performance came in a Test against India at Auckland in early 1976. By then Glenn Turner was captain. India won this Test, which was significant in several ways.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17181/scorecard/63156/new-zealand-vs-india-1st-test-india-tour-of-new-zealand-1975-76/

Congdon scored 54 and 54 besides taking 5-65. Apart from this:

Surender Amarnath scored a century on debut. Like his father, he never made a Test century after his debut.

Gavaskar won his first Test as captain and made a century as well. He was standing in for BS Bedi who made his debut as captain in the second Test of the series.

Prasanna’s 8-76 remains the best innings bowling for an Indian bowler in a Test outside India. His match figures of 11-140 were then the best for India outside India, though the record now stands at 12-104 by BS Chandrashekhar against Australia at Melbourne in early 1978. Chandrashekhar would not have minded getting a king pair in that match.

But India did not win that series against New Zealand. The 2nd Test was drawn with India in a weaker position. And the third Test saw the then little-known Richard Hadlee taking 7-23 (and 11-58) in bringing about an innings victory for NZ.

 

Carrying bat through an innings for and against India

The full list of “carry-throughs” can be found here.

http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283149.html

This is a dynamic link. D Elgar is the latest addition to this list in the Test starting on 24/01/2018.

The very first “carry-through” was by SA’s AB Tancred was 26* out of 47 in the Test starting on 25/03/1889. This remains a record for the lowest such score, though there are a few more under 50. The highest was recorded about a month ago, when AN Cook made 244* out of 491 in the Test starting on 26/12/2017. There are a few other double centuries, one of which is listed below.

Anyway, Elgar was only the 5th opener to carry his bat through an innings against India.

1) Nazar Mohammed, 124*/331 at Lucknow in match starting on 23/10/1952. Pakistan won by 10 wickets, though India won the series 2-1. This was Pakistan’s first Test series. See note in 3) below.

2) WM Lawry (Australia’s captain), 49*/107 at Delhi, starting 28/11/1969. India won this Test by 7 wickets, though Australia won the series 3-1. Lawry also carried his bat through an innings in an Ashes Test in 1971, which Australia lost.

3) Mudassar Nazar, 152*/323 at Lahore, starting 23/01/1983. Drawn, while Pakistan won the series 3-0. This is the only instance in all Tests where a father and son have both carried their bats through an innings.

4) Saeed Anwar, 188*/316 at Kolkata, starting 16/02/1999. Pakistan won by 46 runs. This was part of the Asian Test Championship, which was finally won by Pakistan.

5) D Elgar, 86*/177 at Johannesburg, starting 24/01/2018. India won by 63 runs, though SA won the series 2-1. Elgar had done this earlier against England in 2015, in a match which SA lost.

There are only 4 such instances for Indian openers in Tests:

1) SM Gavaskar, 127*/286 v Pak at Faisalabad, starting 03/01/1983. Pakistan won by 10 wickets and the series 3-0. Mudassar Nazar returned the compliment later in the series, as mentioned above.

2) V Sehwag, 201*/329 v SL at Galle, starting 31/07/2008. India won by 170 runs, though SL won the series 2-1.

3) R Dravid, 146*/300 v Eng at the Oval, starting 18/08/2011. India lost by an innings and 18 runs, and lost the series 4-0 in a clean sweep.

4) C Pujara, 145*/312 v SL at Colombo (SSC) starting on 28/08/2015. India won by 117 runs and the series 2-1.

Best debut bowling against India

The second Test at Centurion was noted for various things such as silly runouts and young Ngidi’s bowling. Here we look at the best bowling figures on debut against and for India (all figures as of 17 Jan 2018).

Best against India-innings (5wi): 

Debut bowling against India-I

Ngidi is in 5th position here, while his compatriot Klusener leads. That was to remain Klusener’s best in Tests, as in the case of Lever. Krezja’s effort came in a defeat for his team, and he played only one Test after this. Hazlewood is another current player in this list, while B Lee, like Bedser, had a long career.

Bedser and Pollard made their debut together. BR Taylor remains the only one in all Tests to make a century and take a fiver on debut. We will come to Lever’s similar record in a moment.

Best against India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling against India-M

The luckless Krezja tops this table. Bedser is second, and he followed with another 11-wicket haul in his second Test to start a long career for England. His partner Pollard is also here, though he had a relatively short career. Ngidi is relatively lower in this table as he took only one wicket in the first innings.

Hazlewood is the only other current player to appear here. Other famous names include B Lee and Trueman.

In an odd case of symmetry, JK Lever was the only one in all Tests to score a fifty and take a ten-for on debut. India’s S Venkataraghavan was in the Indian team on both occasions.

We also look at the corresponding figures for Indian bowlers on debut.

Best for India-innings (5wi):

Debut bowling for India-I

Hirwani steals the show here. He had a slightly better career than RAL Massie, who also took 16 wickets on debut. Ashwin and Shami are in the current team, as is Mishra from recent times. Nissar’s effort came in India’s first-ever Test.

Best for India-match (7wm):

Debut bowling for India-M

Hirwani again leads, with the best match figures in all Tests by a debutant. His 16-136 was just ahead of Massie’s 16-137. Shami, Ashwin and Mishra appear here as well. Doshi and Yadav had moderately successful careers.