Cricket Australia's official player rankings system for the KFC Big Bash League has revealed the top individual performances of the 2017-18 regular season.
The system was devised for Cricket Australia by esteemed Bond University Professor Steven Stern, the man who also lends his name to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method used for recalculating rain-affected run chase targets, and rates each individual performance as part of the overall player rankings system.
Professor Stern's system calculates the best individual performances in each match, factoring in not just each player's contribution but the circumstances in which they scored runs and took wickets.
In explaining the player rankings at the start of the season, Professor Stern said: "The most straightforward way to explain it is, in each game, suppose we took a player's actual performance out, and substituted in for it what the average of all the other players in the game would have produced in his place ... how much difference would that make?
"That way you're allowing the performances of the players themselves to tell you what the average conditions are, and if you outcompete the other players in terms of what they would have done in your place, then you get a positive component to your aggregate for the season."
Below are the top five batting performances of BBL|07 according to the rankings system.
1) Mitchell Swepson - 3-14 (4)
Heat v Stars @ the MCG
Queensland leggie Swepson recorded his first-ever three-wicket haul and bamboozled Melbourne Stars in the process. The 24-year-old was introduced in the eighth over and quickly changed the tone of the innings, getting Luke Wright stumped and conceding three from his first over. He bowled unchanged through the middle overs, removing Kevin Pietersen in his second over and Rob Quiney in his fourth, all the while costing just 14 runs in what proved to be a match-winning spell.
2) Jofra Archer - 3-15 (4)
Hurricanes v Strikers @ Blundstone Arena
Archer was a sensation throughout BBL|07 and this performance against the Strikers showed exactly why. As Adelaide racked up 176 in pursuit of the Hurricanes' 183, it was Archer's economy and wicket-taking ability that proved the difference between the sides, as the right-arm quick took the key wickets of Alex Carey, Travis Head and Jake Lehmann to help his side to a valuable two points.
3) Michael Beer - 2-21 (4)
Stars v Heat @ the Gabba
As the Heat piled on a massive 7-206, Michael Beer was alone among the Stars bowlers in escaping the carnage. Where every bowler went for between seven and 16 an over, Beer's miserly economy rate of 5.25, combined with the wickets of two of the Heat's top three batsmen in Jimmy Peirson and Sam Heazlett, ensured a standout performance.
4) Kane Richardson - 4-22 (4)
Renegades v Thunder @ Manuka Oval
Richardson took two four-wicket hauls in BBL|07 but this was the better of the two, coming as it did in a high-scoring affair and ultimately helping his side to a victory. With the Thunder looking like tracking down a monster target of 190, Richardson removed the two set batsmen in Arjun Nair and Ben Rohrer, then added Aiden Blizzard and Gurinder Sandhu to his list of victims as the Renegades grabbed a nine-run win. And it was all achieved at fewer than six runs per over.
5) Fawad Ahmed - 2-11 (4)
Thunder v Sixers @ Spotless Stadium
Fawad Ahmed was tremendous for the Thunder throughout BBL|07, taking wickets in eight out of 10 matches, but his most decisive performance came in the first night of the tournament. Against the Sixers in the Sydney Smash, the guileful leggie was a model of economy and incision, conceding just 11 runs from his four overs while also dismissing two of the Sixers most dangerous batsmen in Daniel Hughes and Nic Maddinson.