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Thread: The Numbers Debate: 4th innings centuries

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    The Numbers Debate: 4th innings centuries

    Had a random thought that I couldn't remember who the last England batsman to score a ton in a successful 4th innings chase in Tests was (turns out it was Cook in Bangladesh in 2010), so had a wee check on statsguru. Turns out there's only been 70 instances of a batsman scoring a ton in a successful 4th innings chase.

    What surprised me more was that there's 69 instances of a batsman scoring a 4th innings ton in a defeat.

    Which got me thinking. I'm probably missing a subtlety somewhere along the line, but is it just me or does this suggest that 4th innings tons are pretty worthless as a measure of a batsman, as it seems to have little bearing on the outcome of a game?

    Discuss.
    Last edited by Furball; 29-01-2016 at 01:21 PM.
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    International Captain Agent TBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    I'm probably missing a subtlety somewhere along the line
    They're called draws.
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    It depends how highly one rates Graeme Smith.

    The 4th innings is usually the hardest time to bat (except for places with day one greentops) and a chase needs to be 250+ to provide a decent chance for a player to score a century (unless Warner/Sehwag). As pitches and conditions increasingly favour batsmen and more 400+ chases become likely, there should be more 4th innings centuries
    Last edited by Fuller Pilch; 29-01-2016 at 01:58 PM.

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    Evil Scotsman Furball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent TBY View Post
    They're called draws.
    83 instances of 4th innings tons in draws.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    Had a random thought that I couldn't remember who the last England batsman to score a ton in a successful 4th innings chase in Tests was (turns out it was Cook in Bangladesh in 2010), so had a wee check on statsguru. Turns out there's only been 70 instances of a batsman scoring a ton in a successful 4th innings chase.

    What surprised me more was that there's 69 instances of a batsman scoring a 4th innings ton in a defeat.

    Which got me thinking. I'm probably missing a subtlety somewhere along the line, but is it just me or does this suggest that 4th innings tons are pretty worthless as a measure of a batsman, as it seems to have little bearing on the outcome of a game?

    Discuss.
    I am not sure about your conclusion though. There are 70 successful and 69 unsuccessful, how does that make it worthless as a measure?

    We need to contextualise it in the sense that, usually teams don't bat as long during the 4th innings, either because their targets are small, or they don't even get halfway there.

    I think the worth or quality of a 4th innings total is more to do with the fact that you are batting in the most difficult of conditions, on the most difficult day, quite often standing between defeat or draw (sometimes wins).
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    International Coach weldone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    I'm probably missing a subtlety somewhere along the line
    Ya, number of not outs... Among 70 4th innings centuries in wins 37 are unbeaten hundreds; while among 69 4th innings centuries in losses the number is only 11.

    So, the persons who score 4th innings centuries in wins more often finish the job by staying till the end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furball View Post
    Had a random thought that I couldn't remember who the last England batsman to score a ton in a successful 4th innings chase in Tests was (turns out it was Cook in Bangladesh in 2010), so had a wee check on statsguru. Turns out there's only been 70 instances of a batsman scoring a ton in a successful 4th innings chase.

    What surprised me more was that there's 69 instances of a batsman scoring a 4th innings ton in a defeat.

    Which got me thinking. I'm probably missing a subtlety somewhere along the line, but is it just me or does this suggest that 4th innings tons are pretty worthless as a measure of a batsman, as it seems to have little bearing on the outcome of a game?

    Discuss.
    Obviously conditions vary wildly but, historically, as a general rule of thumb, on average the amount of runs you need to be chasing in the 4th innings to make your side the underdog (forget draws for a second) isn't *that* much higher than the amount of runs you need to be chasing for even an opener to have enough time to score a century before the total is chased down. Given that, I'm actually a little surprised there have been more 4th innings centuries in winning causes than losing ones at all tbh.
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