Tuesday, 10 January 2017

WBBL02 - The Final Run-In

Just four games left for each team now in WBBL02 and the current league table looks like this

The Sixers look like they are just one win away from booking their place in the semi-finals after six victories on the bounce, but which three teams will join them? The Renegades looked dead and buried, but three wins in their last three matches, including two wins over the Stars, means even they are still in with a shout of a semi-final slot.

Here is who the teams still have left to play :-

Sixers - Canes, Thunder and Renegades x2

Canes - Sixes,  Thunder and Stars x2

Stars - Strikers, Scorcher and Canes x2

Scorchers - Strikers, Stars and Thunder x2

Heat - Renegades x2 and Strikers x2

Thunder - Sixes,  Canes and Scorchers x2

Strikers - Stars, Scorchers  and Heat x2

Renegades - Heat x2 and Sixers x2

The Sixers could make life much harder for both the Canes and the Thunder if they were to beat them both in their next two games, but if they slip up they will be confident they can pick up the points they need in two games against the Renegades.

The Canes probably need to pick up two wins in their last four games to be certain of progressing. Their match-up with the Sixers will be a tough one to win, but they will hope to win two out of three against the Thunder and Stars.

The Stars, Scorchers and Heat all know that their destiny lies in their own hands. Only once will their paths' cross in these last few games of the season, when the Stars take on the Scorchers on 15th January, but that could well be a pivotal game for both sides.

Of the three teams on 10 points the Stars probably have the tougher looking run-in with two games against the Canes to finish their season. In contrast the Heat look to have the easier final few games with dual fixtures against the Renegades  and Strikers.

Just two points behind these three are last year's winners the Thunder, and the Strikers. The Thunder have been tanked by the Heat and the Canes in their last two games and will need to pick themselves up quickly if they want to defend their WBBL01 title. But their next game is against the high-flying Sixers which could add to their woes. The Strikers have found runs very hard to come by, and have lost their last four games, three times failing to get into triple figures. Their tournament looks shot, but I said that about the Renegades a couple of weeks ago and they have refused to throw in the towel.

The Renegades' chances of qualifying are still thin, but with two games against the Heat to come next up, they could make or break the Heat's chances of making the semis. If the Renegades could conjure up two wins for themselves they could still cling on to some hope. The only thing standing in their way then would be two games against the Sixers!

But the way this WBBL is going, who knows what might happen?



  1. Renegades have come on strong after a poor start, but that extra half-point they've been docked could prove costly. They have to win probably all of their last 4 matches given their poor NRR. They're almost out, given the run-in, but must be hoping that Sixers would already be through by the time they play them and might let their foot of the gas a little, in preparation for the semis. It's a bit of a forlorn hope to cling to!

    Elsewhere the overnight game was another case of... well shall we say that it was another "epic fail" from the Strikers. Even given a poor fielding display from Stars with plenty of dropped catches, they couldn't put together a competitive total, and were some way (30 runs) short. They've not shown the spirit of the Renegades and have been lucky to pick up those points from rained-off matches, having won the fewest games of all. Poor Beaumont looked incandescent with rage after getting out early this time - all is not well in the Strikers camp methinks. McPharlin not exactly inspiring confidence either!

    Sixers are all but home & hosed into the semis. The contest between Canes, Stars, Scorchers and Heat is going to be intense and any of them could finish 2nd to 6th I think. Things look pretty desperate for Thunder to me. They almost need to beat Sixers in their next match or I'm not sure they can make it.

    That next game Strikers-Stars could see the former effectively out and Stars with a good shot, going into the last 3 matches, given their decent NRR. But if Strikers could win, it would open things up even more.

    1. "They have to win probably all of their last 4 matches given their poor NRR" - unlikely though it is, Renegades can qualify (without resorting to NRR) by winning just 3 of their last 4 games but your 'probably all of their last 4' is appropriate.

      "The contest between Canes, Stars, Scorchers and Heat is going to be intense and any of them could finish 2nd to 6th I think" - no, any of them can finish 1st to 8th (see Comment below).

    2. Yes I realise they can finish 1st to 8th still, but I was merely suggesting the more probable positions seeing as 'Gades or Strikers are likely to be bottom and Sixers likely to be top.

  2. “The Sixers look like they are just one win away from booking their place in the semi-finals” – not necessarily, it depends which win.

    If they win their next game against Hurricanes then they are qualified but if they lost that game but won their next (against Thunder) then they are not necessarily through. For example, and there are a handful of other sequences, the following sequence of results (HH beat SS, MS beat AS, BH beat MR, SS beat ST, PS beat AS, BH beat MR, MS beat PS, HH beat ST, MR beat SS, BH beat AS, PS beat ST, HH beat MS, BH beat AS, MS beat HH, PS beat ST & MR beat SS) would leave BH (18pts), HH (17pts) and Sixers sharing 3rd place with PS and MS on 16pts and therefore would not be certain of progressing.

    Assuming each game is a 50:50 game, then the probability of Sixers qualifying outright is 95.1294% and if one adds a NNR tied qualification then the probability reaches 99.3057% so they are indeed nigh on dead ringers for qualification.

    “The Canes probably need to pick up two wins in their last four games to be certain of progressing” – ‘probably’ is correct but in absolute terms they don’t. They can qualify absolutely on 13pts (so one win) although this would require an unlikely string of results. Conversely, if they get 2 wins (15pts) they are 95.4102% certain of qualifying (assuming each game is a 50:50 game).

    “The Stars, Scorchers and Heat all know that their destiny lies in their own hands” – interestingly despite these 3 teams having an identical playing record, and assuming each game is a 50:50 game, they are not equally likely the qualify. This is because the remaining fixtures are not symmetrical and this leads to the Heat having a slightly better chance of qualification than the other two. Too little space here to explain fully but essentially Heat are playing more matches where a loss doesn’t affect their ranking.

    This has been a truly fantastic tournament. With only 4 rounds of matches to go all teams could still end up top (and I mean top, not joint top) and the only known outcome is that Sixers can’t finish lower than 6th.

    At this time (and assuming each game is a 50:50 game) the probability of a team absolutely qualifying is : SS=95.12%, HH=68.08%, BH=45.51%, PS=44.81%, MS=43.65%, ST=31.63%, AS=15.27% and MR=10.44%. The probability of a team having to rely on NNR to qualify is : SS=4.17%, HH=3.09%, BH=20.39%, PS=19.60%, MS=20.28%, ST=3.09%, AS=14.55% (MR cannot qualify on NNR – blatantly obvious given they are the only team on ‘something and a half’ points).

  3. Consequences of Friday's matches:-

    (1) SS and MS win
    SS qualified
    AS and MR cannot finish 1st
    (2) SS and AS win
    SS qualified
    MR cannot finish 1st
    (3) HH and MS win
    AS cannot finish 1st
    (4) HH and AS win
    Nothing further is determined

  4. ....... and, whilst I'm sure SS and MS won't play game, it would be good if HH and AS won these matches because that would still leave open the end state of all teams being separated by just 2 points, with 1 team qualifying (on 15pts) and 5 teams on 14pts to be separated by NRR and the lowest team on 13 pts. This is closest of all possible outcomes.

  5. A Rebel WBBL tweet entitled “What your team needs to do to make the #WBBL02 finals” offering a URL to an article might make the reader think you are about to get some real insight into what your team needs to do. If any reader is left feeling a bit short changed by the article then here is precisely what your team must do to be guaranteed qualification:-

    SS : Win at least 2 games or only 1 if it’s the one against HH

    HH: Win at least 3 games

    PS : Win all 4 games but only 3 if they beat MS

    BH : Win all 4 games

    MS : Win all 4 games

    ST : Win all 4 games

    AS : Win all 4 games (this an odd one because AS can guarantee qualification with 16pts whilst no other team can do so with so few pts – all down to the teams they still have to play. This is good news for a team who would lose out to any other team they tied on points with (assuming no more wash outs) because AS would have fewer wins.

    MR : Cannot be guaranteed qualification even if they win all 4 games (although 4 wins would mean they are 99% certain)

    PS, BH & MS are 99.99% certain to be guaranteed qualification if they win any 3 of their remaining 4 games.

  6. Gotta love The Clanger's statistics runs. Fabulous stuff and thanks for the detail. It's pretty incredible how close the league still is, really.

    1. Its probability not statistics - the former deals with the future, the latter with the past .... but I appreciate the sentiment all the same !!

      All I need now is a sequence of results to disprove my calculations and make me look a right prat.

      It's a pretty incredible tournament. Hopefully the ECB will plagiarise with pride.

  7. After the 2 games of 13th January, the ‘be certain of qualifying’ criteria now reads:-

    SS : Qualified

    HH: Win all 3 of their games

    PS : Win at least 3 of their 4 games

    BH : Win at least 3 of their 4 games

    MS : Win at least 3 of their 4 games

    ST : Win all 4 of their games

    AS : Cannot be certain of qualifying even they win all their games

    MR : Cannot be certain of qualifying even they win all their games

    Other titbits:-

    HH would be very unlucky not to qualify with 2 wins from their remaining 3 games. It is possible they could fail but it would take a very unlikely sequence of results for that to happen.

    BH could, if other results went their way, qualify by winning one game (either of their two against AS) whilst PS cannot be certain of qualification by winning just one game.

    MS could, if other results went their way, still qualify even if they lost all their remaining games – none of the other teams (ex SS of course) have this solace

    ST would be very unlucky not to qualify with 3 wins from their remaining 4 games. It is possible they could fail but it would take a very unlikely sequence of results for that to happen.

    AS could, given a remarkable sequence of results, still be certain of qualification from 2 wins but they will almost certainly need to win all 3 to stand any chance.

    MR must win 3 of their 4 games to stand any chance of qualifying

  8. The latest set of games (on 14th) have decided one important matter – AS cannot qualify. The reason being that the best they can achieve is 12pts and the highest position they can achieve is 4th. Look at the table and there are already 3 teams (PS, BH and MS) on 12 pts so AS could at best find themselves tied with one of these teams but each of these teams would have 6 wins to AS’s 5 so would be placed above AS. Therefore AS cannot qualify.

    MR are still in it – albeit they need a load of results to go their way (at least NNR won’t matter given they can’t tie with any other team). Specifically they need to win all their games, they need BH to lose both of their games (aka AS winning both of theirs) and then rely on a set of results involving HH, PS, MS and ST to go their way. They probably need a prayer mat as well.

    Not much else was sorted by these last 3 games. Basically HH, PS, BH, MS and ST are now in a dog fight for qualification. Despite inferior run rate, BH are best placed of these teams to qualify, not because they play AS twice, but because the other teams have to play each other. At the risk of stating the obvious, MS and PS are the next most likely of these 5 to qualify.

    Warning : If using the official WBBL website as your guide to the standings then observe that it has ST having played 11, won 5 and lost 5 with 10pts – suggesting that either ST have been docked a point or that their pts total should be 11 not 10. I can’t find any news item suggesting they have been docked a point.

    1. PS: A certain Amy Jones seems to have cross the globe, and sneaked under the radar, and finds herself playing for the Sydney Sixers. I think the England list of players in this WBBL as Edwards, Beaumont, Winfield, Knight, Sciver, Wyatt, Brunt, Shrubsole, Grundy, Hazell and Jones, so makes a whole team although these XI have never played as an England team.

  9. Thanks for these useful updates Clanger!! Keep them coming!!

  10. You are very welcome Martin.

    Tonight’s games…………………. (based on ST having 10 pts, having found a news article confirming their 1 point deduction – although they did appeal it)

    If MR lose, they can’t qualify, obviously.

    If MR win, they can still qualify regardless of the results of the other 2 games

    ST’s worse nightmare is (a) losing against HH and (b) BH winning and (c) PS winning. If this happens the best ST can do is finish either :-
    4th equal with PS
    4th equal with PS and MS
    3rd equal with PS and BH
    3rd equal with PS, BH and MS
    All these teams would have 7 wins so NRR would decide. They can only hope that other results contrive so that they end up 4th equal with PS alone because their last 2 games are against PS so they can control the NRR of PS. Normally its incredibly difficult well into an event to effect NRR but playing the team you need to overtake is a great help because every NRR gain is your opponents loss – playing them twice is even better.

    None of the other possible results tonight have any binding consequences.

  11. As previously stated, the HH and ST game on Monday (yes I know I thought it was Sunday) isn’t of binding consequence. Scorchers fans might be taking a keen interest though.
    If HH beat ST on Monday, then PS are guaranteed at least to be at worse 4th equal or better, which is good news for a team with a good NRR. If you are Scorchers fan then cheer on HH on Monday. This isn’t exactly difficult to spot given it can be restated as “3 other teams can’t get 15 pts”. This would be impossible given ST couldn’t (if they lost to HH) and only one of HH and MS could get to 15pts (because they play each other twice). QED. Happy Scorchers.

    They would be even happier with just one more win because Scorchers would be certain of qualification if they win one of their two remaining games.

    Another obvious fact - we are down to only 3 teams that could be outright (not relying on NRR) 1st placed – SS, HH and PS.