OPINION: Duckworth Lewis Is Broken For Twenty20

Although to be fair India were probably already heading towards victory anyway in their 2nd T20 against the Southern Stars, for the second time in recent weeks Messrs Duckworth and Lewis nevertheless conspired to produce a ridiculously unbalanced final run chase in women’s T20s.

After the Hobart Hurricanes were mugged by DL in their WBBL semi-final against Sydney Sixers, the equation for India chasing Australia’s 125 (off 18 overs) was even more bizarre.

When the rain came down, India were 52-0 after 7.5 overs, so the equation was 73 off 61 balls, or  7.2 an-over.

When the teams went back out again, the target had been reduced to 66 off 10 overs – i.e. a remaining 14 off 13 balls, equivalent to 6.5 an-over.

Just to reiterate… we’re not taking anything away from India, and you’d probably back them to chase down either target from the situation they were in; but still you have to ask, was it really fair that the required rate actually fell by half a run here?

Or to put it another way: if you had to chose between chasing 73 off 61 and 14 off 13 (in both cases with 10 wickets in-hand) would anyone opt for the former? Not in a million years!

It is abundantly clear that for short T20 chases, Duckworth Lewis is thoroughly broken and needs looking at, perhaps by reducing the number of wickets available?

A chase of 14 off 13 with only two wickets in hand, might have made it interesting! As it was, it was an utter forgone conclusion from the moment they went back out, and that’s just not an equitable reflection of where the game was when it was interrupted.

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2 thoughts on “OPINION: Duckworth Lewis Is Broken For Twenty20

  1. 56 runs. That’s how far behind Australia’s 18-over score India were when DL decided the latter had won. How many might Australia have got in a full 20 overs? 140 at least? India would have needed 7 an over for the whole 20 overs to win. How they can score 69 in 10 overs and be declared winners is a bit dubious. DL needs to take into account how far from the target the chasing team is. The further they still have to go, the higher their run rate should have to be above the side batting first’s to be sure they are ahead. DL assumes wickets make a huge difference but I think in women’s cricket (and T20 in general) you can’t just swap wickets in hand for runs. High RRs are difficult to achieve, irrespective of wickets in hand.

    Having said all that I must admit to not being displeased that India are making the Aussies sweat. We know T20 is not their best format (England beat them 2-1 after 3 demoralising defeats) and also they tend to start series slowly. I do expect them to make a comeback though, especially in the ODI series. To not do so would certainly throw open the hierarchy of women’s cricket a bit! And of course this makes a mockery of why players like Raj, Kaur and Goswami weren’t in the WBBL…

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  2. I completely agree about Duckworth-Lewis and T20s … as for no Indian players in the WBBL, I suspect this is for the same reason as there are no Indian players in the BBL: The BCCI won’t release its players from domestic commitments. To be fair, on the evidence so far, this stance doesn’t seem to have done India any harm, in women’s cricket at least.

    Worth a read on India’s success – with the introduction of central contracts pegged as a key reason for improvements, particularly in fielding: http://www.firstpost.com/sports/red-letter-day-for-indian-womens-cricket-importance-of-the-historic-series-win-over-australia-2604118.html

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