Thailand’s first T20 World Cup wicket was a run-out

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This was, apparently, highly likely. According to Jrod, women’s cricket features a hell of a lot more run-outs than men’s cricket.

The fact that the fielding restrictions keep fielders closer than in the men’s game is a large part of the reason why. It means they get to the ball quicker for one, but it also means it’s harder to find gaps and so the batters are more likely to get bogged down and do something stupid.

Thailand’s first World Cup wicket saw the West Indies’ Lee-Ann Kirby – who was on 3 off 15 balls at the time – glide the ball straight to a fielder only for her batting partner, Hayley Matthews, to conclude, “Ah, to hell with it, let’s try and pinch one anyway.”

We don’t know a great deal about Lee-Ann Kirby, but she doesn’t have the air of an irrepressible one-pincher. This view was rather borne out by what happened next.

Upon seeing Matthews haring down the wicket like someone disinclined to reflect on the decisions she has made even in light of new evidence, Kirby rapidly accelerated.

That acceleration took her to a respectably swift pace for, we would guess, around two paces, at which point she decelerated into a kind of fatalistic lope.

Unfortunately for Kirby, fate – and perhaps more significantly Naruemol Chaiwai – decreed that the ball would strike the stumps without the intervention of a second fielder.

The West Indies won the match fairly easily. The wait for Thailand’s first T20 World Cup win goes on.

15 comments

  1. I too listened to the Kimber piece (although I was slightly annoyed by the jaunty graphics) and watched nearly all of the match in question, having a particular affection for Thailand, having lived there for a while in the late 90s (I was there when Princess Di died, so it was then). When the runout occurred I thought “Ha! That is just what Jarod said”. I even exclaimed to Mrs. Smudge an enquiry about whether she realised that something like 23% of dismissals in women’s international T20s were runouts. She returned a look suggesting that not only did she not know, but she resented the five seconds of her life she had wasted being told this. With discussion on the domestic front curtailed, I found myself wishing I was a cricket writer with a crowdsource funded website to share my thoughts, but fortunately you have given me a more accessible forum. I thought that a factor which neither article mentioned which is surely significant is that whilst the ball, boundaries and fielding circles are smaller, the 22 yards is still that same. And whilst the ball will be thrown in only slightly slower, this will only result in it arriving a fraction of a second later, whilst as the women rune slower than the men, the run will take more time. Thus in any form of cricket, run runs are harder to get for women. This stuck me a s bigger factor than the fielding circle size. However as the run out stat was across all teams, not just the Thais, these players are experienced pros, so you would have thought that this fact would be known to them and they would refuse more runs, they shouldn’t be shaking their head in bewilderment thinking “Jonny Bairstow would have got two for that shot, how come I am sitting shamefaced in the changing room?”. Perhaps the thesis that the pressure not to get bogged down is the same, so whatever the reason run runs are harder to get it will force bad decisions, but you would have thought this could be coached out of them. The few extra runs can’t be worth that run out rate.

    1. Perhaps the distinction should be between “foot-runs” and “rope-runs”. Or these days, “foam-runs”…

      1. A six has to go over the foam, doesn’t that count? They don’t technically touch the boundary either.

        Or at least they don’t touch the demarcation of the boundary, be that rope, foam, white paint on the grass or those fuzzily demarked boundaries on the playground edge between schoolkids’ satchels, backpacks and heaped blazers. Does the “boundary” itself technically rise like an invisible vertical wall above its demarcation?

      2. Mobile runs vs Immobile runs. I have a feeling this causes the least confusion and the most annoyance.

      3. Arm-muscle runs versus leg-muscle runs, DC? Maybe it’s all about exercising different parts of the anatomy.

      4. Totally with aerobic and anaerobic runs, DC. You only have to consider some of our rotund favourites of yesteryear – Inzy, Arjuna, or the two mighty Ians (Blackwell & Austin)…

        …these were guys who favoured anaerobic runs over aerobic ones. The words and the meaning all trip off the tongue.

        Great stuff.

  2. Interesting additional thoughts from the Smudge there.

    My take, for what it is worth (with some credit to Daisy who was a full participant in the conversation) is that the Thailand Women’s team are particularly sharp in the field – perhaps more so than the West Indies Women predicted.

    Thailand also bowled with more control than, perhaps, their opponents anticipated.

    When that first run out came, Daisy’s immediate remark was that it looked like an accident waiting to happen.

    When the second run out came we both agreed that the Thai fielding was sharp and that the West Indies had been somewhat caught off guard,

    West Indies batted with arguably excessive caution after that, perhaps fearful of the banana skin.

    We also both felt that this West Indies Women’s side looks underpowered compared with the team that won the tournament four years ago, although it is always hard to judge performance comprehensively at the start of a tournament, especially against unusual/previously untested opposition.

    As for the general point about the higher run out percentage for women over men, I would attribute almost all of it to the difference in expected power and the resulting difference in teh fielding restrictions. A far higher proportion of the runs come from runs that actually have to be run and I suspect that the higher percentage of run outs is aligned with the higher “actually run runs” percentage. If that makes sense…or even if it doesn’t. :-/

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