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Rain-affected run targets explained
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The covers may come out, but the match can still be resolved through the Lewis-Duckworth method
When the brollies come out, so do the calculators
Two statisticans, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, got together and produced a system to help decide one-day cricket matches when rain interrupts play.

They called it, funnily enough, the Duckworth-Lewis method.

So what is it then?

It's a mathematical formula which means a result can be reached in a reduced overs match.

But it'd be easier to toss a coin, wouldn't it?

That's hardly a fair match-up. But the D/L method is, and everyone is happy to use it.

How does it work?

England coach Duncan Fletcher looks distraught
Aaagh! I hate maths!
Basically two teams start a match with the same resources - the number of overs they receive and number of wickets in hand.

If a match is shortened once it's started, so the resources are reduced.

For example, if the team which bats first had their innings interrupted, team two would often be set a larger run target to compensate.

But should the team second at the stumps be interrupted, their run target would often be reduced.

So Duckworth and Lewis came up with the equation which determines how much a run target should be altered.

Here's an example: Let's say that a team have lost five wickets after receiving 25 of their 50 overs when rain stops play.

At this point, using the table produced by the Duckworth-Lewis method, the team's remaining resources are valued at 42.2%.

Albert Einstein
Einstein holds another D/L method evening class
If 15 overs are then lost because of the weather, the innings will be completed after only 10 more overs.

The D/L method says that, with 10 overs left and five wickets lost, the team has 26.1% of their resources left.

To compensate for the lost overs, we must calculate the resource % lost.

This works out to 42.2 - 26.1 = 16.1.

If the team had been chasing a total of 250 runs, their new target is calculated in the following way.

Resources available at the start = 100%
Resources lost = 16.1
Resources available after rain interruption = 83.9%

Then reduce team one's score in the following way. Multiply team one's runs scored by the recalculated resources divided by the resources available at the start.

That is: 250 x 83.9/100 = 209.75.

The target is then rounded to the nearest whole number, so the team batting second would be set a target of 210 to win.

Easy, eh?

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I have talked with Steve Waugh about the D/L method and he says it's the best we have
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Former England fast bowler Robin Jackman

D/L method fact file
Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis developed the formula in the early 1990s.
The method has now been in operation for over four years.
It has been used on over 200 occasions.
Cricket World Cup 1999 used the D/L method.
The ICC have since adopted it as their standard "rain-rule".

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