SMCA grounds under the microscope | Stephenson Park

Liam Durkin

WITH the majority of senior winter sport not going ahead, many clubs in the Sale-Maffra Cricket Association may have used the downtime of late to begin plotting their approach for the 2020-21 season.

Taking an in-depth look at SMCA historical evidence from recent seasons, the Gippsland Times has crunched the numbers to see if there is anything from a statistical point of view that could prove insightful.

Given that cricket is a problem-solving game, there may be a few interesting returns that come to light over the next few weeks as we analysis different SMCA venues and the clubs that call those venues home.

First up is Stephenson Park in Sale, home of the Longford Lizards.

Ground dimensions: 155 metres long by 120m wide.

Average score for team batting first at Stephenson Park past five seasons: one-day: 163; two-day: 188.

Much riding on the toss at Stephenson Park? The team winning the toss has won 33.33 per cent of matches at Stephenson Park since 2015-16.

Home ground advantage? Longford has enjoyed periods of success at home. In 2017-18 the Lizards won four of six games at Stephenson Park, but has only been able to chalk up one win at home since.

Finals played at Stephenson Park since 2015-16: Only one final has been played at Stephenson Park in the past five seasons, which was the 2018-19 grand final between Bundalaguah and Boisdale-Briagolong. In that rain affected match, the Bulls elected to bowl first but it was the Saints who came out on top after posting 159.

Percentage of wickets taken at Stephenson Park in 2019-20: with pace: 64.77; with spin: 33.33.

Stats that matter playing against Longford:

Verdict: in the game with 170 to 180 on the board in both formats.