WBBL: The Power Surge – Is It Working? A Look At The Numbers

Updated November 6th 2022

With over 20 games now in the bank, thanks to the ever-awesome cricsheet.org, we have the chance to look at how the new WBBL Power Surge is working out.

The Power Surge has come into the Women’s BBL for the first time this season, meaning a reduced powerplay (overs 1-4) and then a second two-over powerplay taken by the batting side sometime during the second half of the innings – the Power Surge.

Here are the average run rates for the games we have so far:

Phase Run Rate
Innings 7.0
Powerplay 5.7 (-1.3)
Power Surge 9.4 (+2.4)

As we can see, the initial powerplay is typically slower than the overall run rate, by more than half a run per over – this is normal in women’s short-form cricket (though The Hundred this year bucked that trend).

But the Power Surge shows an increase in the overall run rate, of two-and-a-half runs per over – ie. five runs overall.

However, these calculations do mask a difference between the first and second innings.

Here are the numbers for the first innings:

Phase Run Rate
Innings 7.2
Powerplay 5.7 (-1.5)
Power Surge 10.0 (+2.8)

So in the first innings, the increase is closer 3 runs per over – about five-and-a-half runs overall.

Meanwhile in the second innings:

Phase Run Rate
Innings 6.8
Powerplay 5.7 (-1.1)
Power Surge 8.8 (+2)

In the second innings, the Power Surge bonus is significantly smaller – just 2 runs per over, or four runs overall.

The Power Surge was imported from the Men’s BBL where the numbers are similar – an overall increase in the Run Rate of around 2.7 runs per over, or a little over five runs per innings. In both cases it is essentially one extra boundary per innings.

Can you really call that a “Surge”? I guess if you are in marketing you can call it anything, and I freely admit that “Power Blip” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but in terms of the numbers a “Power Blip” really is all it is.