Intensity

Introduction

I enjoyed looking at some of the performance data from two games played in the last three days here in Australia.

I try to find examples of performance where lower ranked teams compete effectively against higher ranked teams. I am very interested in the preparation contexts required to support probabilistic approaches to winning.

It is very helpful having excellent online resources with which to contemplate intensity of effort as time-series data.

Dandenong v Adelaide

The first game was in the WNBL. Second on the Ladder (Dandenong) at home played Third (Adelaide). The teams had played against each other in Adelaide in Round 7. Dandenong won that game 87-75. Adelaide was two points down going into the Final Quarter of this Round 16 game.

The score:

Score

The scoring pattern:

Pattern

The start of the Quarter:

Start Q4

The Close Out:

Close Out

I found it interesting that Adelaide had outscored Dandenong in the Final Quarter in Round 7 … and had scored 26 points in that quarter. Both games have Adelaide’s highest Fourth Quarters of the season. Suzy Batkovic top scored in the game in her 200th WNBL game. Adelaide took the lead with 6 minutes to play and were out to a 7 point lead in three minutes. The lead was extended to 13 points going into the final minute of the game.

Australia v Sri Lanka

The second game was the second T20I cricket game between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia won the toss and chose to field. Australia is ranked lower than Sri Lanka in T20 cricket.

The final over of the Sri Lankan innings was:

SL20

The Australian innings was disrupted by rain after 10 overs. When the rain came down Australia was 15 runs below the Duckworth-Lewis score for the game. After an extended delay the game was reduced to a 15 over game.

These were the last two overs:

14

The final over:

15

Discussion

Without making too much of two examples, why I chose them:

Adelaide were away from home against a team that had lost only once at home all season (in Round 2 against the leading team in the competition). Adelaide had lost four of their last five away games (three of them against lower ranked teams).

Australia were defeated in the first T20I against Sri Lanka in the nineteenth over:

19

The two games raise interesting questions for me about the preparation for performance and the management of the flow of events.

It seems to me that Adelaide controlled the game early in the Final Quarter. Australia chased hard to the final ball of the game.

Adelaide had experience of a strong final quarter against Dandenong … and had positioned themselves to compete with a two point deficit after three quarters of the game.

In the two games against Sri Lanka, a relatively inexperienced Australian bowler was asked to bowl the 18th over (T20I 1, 19 runs) and the 19th over (T20 2, 20 runs). The bowler was an in-form player from the domestic T20 competition.

It would be interesting to have a conversation with all four coaches involved in these games. I think my first question would be ‘Was the outcome surprising?’

I wonder what your question might be.

Image Credits

Frame grabs from WNBL and ESPNCricinfo websites.

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