Wicket loss and risk taking during the 2011 and 2015 Cricket World Cups
The purpose of the current investigation was to determine whether there is an optimal strategy in one-day international cricket and whether there is an even distribution of wickets during a 50 over innings. The investigation included 92 matches from the 2011 and 2015 Cricket World Cups. An initial study used required run rate at the start of overs within second innings as an indication of strategy required to reach the target number of runs. This suggested that teams played optimally when 8 to 10 runs were required per over. The second study revealed that batting teams within the both innings lost fewer wickets and scored fewer runs during the first half of innings than during the second half. Despite winning teams within matches losing wickets significantly later than losing teams, this pattern of an increasing run rate and an increasing rate of wicket loss was observed for both winning and losing teams. Teams are not awarded any additional runs for having wickets remaining at the end of the 50 overs. International teams may be more successful if they are prepared to risk losing more wickets in the first half of innings in an attempt to score runs.
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