First Wicket
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 08: Matthew Renshaw of the Heat celebrates dismissing Ben Dunk of the Stars during the Brisbane Heat v Melbourne Stars Big Bash League Match at The Gabba on February 08, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

First Wicket: Matt Renshaw bowls the opening ball of the match. It is short, it is wide, and Marcus Stoinis cuts it straight into the ground. It is a comfortable shot, but not a powerful one: the ball has bounced three times by the time it has reached Mitchell Swepson at point. The batsmen make a late decision to run, so late that if Swepson’s throw was accurate, Ben Dunk’s dive for the crease would have been in vain. But the throw is so wide to the left that it forces Jimmy Peirson to dive in vain.

There is no suggestion of a caught dismissal in the entire passage of play.

….

There has never been a season of the Big Bash League in which the catching has not been criticized. But there has never been a season in which the catching has been so bad that it has meant that another mode of dismissal has been the most frequent means by which the wickets start falling in a BBL match. That match was the 302nd BBL match of all time; in the 301 games before that night, the first dismissal was caught on 211 occasions, which is an average of 70.10%. The lowest it has ever been for a season is 62.79% in BBL07. The following table is accurate as of February 11 and was made by checking data from Cricinfo, CricketArchive and Cricbuzz:

BBL0(?) Total First Dismissals Caught First Dismissals Other First Dismissals Caught First Dismissal Percentage Other First Dismissal Percentage
BBL01 31 23 8 74.19% 25.81%
BBL02 35 23 12 65.71% 34.29%
BBL03 35 23 12 65.71% 34.29%
BBL04 35 26 9 74.29% 25.71%
BBL05 35 25 10 71.43% 28.57%
BBL06 35 28 7 80% 20%
BBL07 53 37 16 62.79% 37.21%
BBL08 56 40 16 71.43% 28.57%

 

Swepson had another run out chance against the Stars in the fourth over, but the numbers were always against that mode of dismissal and for a caught dismissal. That’s why, when Dunk was caught by Ben Cutting off Renshaw in the next over, it was no surprise.

There were three matches left before the finals when Cutting and Max Bryant’s pyrotechnics secured victory for Brisbane (this game, this game and this game). The wicket tally began with a caught dismissal in all those games as well. One thing is for sure; there are people who will put money on that being repeated in the last three matches of the season.

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