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Why I don't like.... Leg-Byes

1812384 Leg-byes - what's that all about? As a bowler, you've beaten the bat; as a captain, you can't set a field; as a batsman you think, whoopee - here's a free lunch, and tuck in. I'd ban them in any form of cricket, but, to placate the egg-and-bacon be-tied traditionalists, I'd settle for banning them in limited overs cricket.

But Mr Trumpet (the Googly-reading masses rise up and exclaim) they don't make that much difference! Read on to find out why Virender Sehwag is carrying a match-winner in his left-hand

Here is the list of the ten most recent close finishes in ODI cricket. We established at "Is it boundaries that make the difference" that the team scoring most boundaries lost six from the ten. Here's the leg-bye count.

21 April 2007: England (11 leg-byes) beat West Indies (1 leg-bye) by one wicket.

4 April 2007: Sri Lanka (5 leg-byes) beat England (1 leg-bye) by two runs.

28 March 2007: South Africa (4 leg-byes) beat Sri Lanka (3 leg-byes) by one wicket.

20 February 2007: New Zealand (4 leg-byes) beat Australia (1 leg-bye) by one wicket. (Hurrah!)

11 February 2007: Sri Lanka (14 leg-byes) beat India (5 leg-byes) by five runs.

9 February 2007: England (3 leg-byes) beat Australia (4 leg-byes) by four wickets. (Hurrah!)

16 January 2007: England (0 leg-byes) beat New Zealand (9 leg-byes) by three wickets.

31 December 2006: New Zealand (5 leg-byes) beat Sri Lanka (3 leg-byes) by one wicket.

7 December 2006: Pakistan (4 leg-byes) beat West Indies (2 leg-byes) by two wickets.

26 October 2006: West Indies (2 leg-byes) beat India (3 leg-byes) by three wickets.

Astonishingly, the leg-bye count winners ran out match winners seven times out of ten. Even more telling is the total count of 52 leg-byes to the winners set against 32 leg-byes to the losers. Teams are more likely to succeed winning the leg-bye count than they are winning the boundary count!

So if England really want to re-build their ODI side, they should identify which batsmen "score" the most leg-byes and draft them in.

[The Tooting Trumpet] [Image: Getty]

July 12, 2007 in General musings, One-day cricket, Why I don't like... | Permalink | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!


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interesting stuff. But did the leg-byes actually have a significant effect on the winning score? Ie Were they the deciding factor?

Posted by: lee calvert | 12 Jul 2007 16:57:05

Well they are all close finishes in which you would look back on the odd great stop in the field or overthrow and say, "That was the difference". It's easier to see it in the games decided by runs (see the second in the list as an example), but the leb-byes are important in all close games except when the count is even - so why not ensure that the count is even: at zero? I mean, nobody pitches up to watch the leg-byes!

Posted by: The Tooting Trumpet | 12 Jul 2007 17:10:14

How infantile. You do no favours to yourself or your country.

Posted by: Lee | 12 Nov 2007 04:13:18

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