How DLS helped cricket conquer interruption dilemma

How DLS helped cricket conquer interruption dilemma
The first international limited overs match was a direct result of rain. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 10 November 2022

How DLS helped cricket conquer interruption dilemma

How DLS helped cricket conquer interruption dilemma
  • After failure of 2 past methods, modern formula has proven a fair way of recalculating targets

There is some dispute about the precise year and place when limited overs cricket began. A one-day cricket tournament, initiated at the Tripunithura Cricket Club, near Cochin, India in 1950 claims the honor.

The Pooja Knockout tournament is still played each year and its 72nd edition is currently underway.

In professional cricket, the first one-day competition was a Midlands Knock-out Cup in 1962 between four English counties who, simultaneously, had spare days in their schedule. The following year, a 65-over tournament, the Gillette Cup, was launched for all 17 counties. This sponsorship lasted until 1980, replaced by NatWest Bank, and the competition survived under a variety of sponsors and formats, although it is a shadow of its former self. In 1969, a 40-over Sunday competition, sponsored by the tobacco company John Player, was introduced. A third 50-over competition, sponsored by Benson & Hedges, was introduced in 1972 and ran for 30 years before T20 cricket took over.

Limited overs cricket spread into other countries. The Gillette format and sponsorship, for example, was extended to Australia, South Africa and the West Indies on a rather tentative basis. Ironically, the first international limited overs match was a direct result of rain. In 1971, a Test match between England and Australia in Melbourne was abandoned because of heavy rain on the first three days. The loss of revenue and lack of cricket for the players led to an agreement to play a match on the Gillette Cup format. Despite it being a Tuesday, 45,000 spectators were attracted. Few knew that a historic moment had occurred. Once again, that moment had been driven by financial considerations.

Unlike Test cricket, limited overs cricket does not allow a draw. In the format’s early years, schedules were not so crowded, so reserve days were available in case of interruption. The first ever Gillette Cup match at Manchester in May 1963 was played over two days because of rain. As schedules became fuller, it became necessary to think about how to deal with the effects of interruption, usually by rain, on the outcome of matches that must be completed in one day.

The first method used was based on average runs per over (ARR). If the team batting second lost some overs, then the ARR of the team batting first was multiplied by the number of overs available for the team batting second, with that number being the target, plus one. The problem with the method is that it favored teams batting second because they had a shorter time to achieve the target, often with more wickets in hand.

This was apparent in a match between Australia and the West Indies in 1989. The West Indies target was reduced to an average run rate below that which Australia had achieved in its innings. This caused uproar and the Australians set about developing an alternative method, called the Most Productive Over (MPO), which was adopted for the 1992 World Cup.

According to MPO, if an interruption occurs while team two is batting and its innings is reduced to x overs, its target is revised according to the runs scored by team one in its highest scoring x overs. It was not long before flaws in this method emerged, including one in spectacular fashion. In the semifinal of the 1992 World Cup in Sydney, South Africa required 22 runs from 13 balls to beat England when rain stopped play. It relented within 10 minutes, by which time South Africa’s target was announced as 21 from a single delivery, much to everyone’s incredulity.

This happened because the umpires judged that two overs had been lost to rain. Under MPO, this meant a deduction from the target of the runs scored by England in their least productive overs. England had scored no runs from these overs and so the target remained the same but 12 balls were deducted from the 13 that had been available prior to the rain. Despite subsequent revisions, the method could not escape its bias toward the team batting first compared with ARR, which favored the team batting second.

Into this unsatisfactory situation entered two British statisticians, Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, whose names are now woven into cricket’s rich tapestry. Their D/L solution, first used in 1997, prior to the advent of T20 cricket, was based upon the notion that teams have two resources to build a score — overs and wickets. The combination of these resources, which are left for a team at any point in its innings, will determine its ability to score more runs. Analysis of many previous 50-over matches revealed patterns of scoring.

Based on this, the method converts all of the possible combinations of overs and wickets left into a table which expresses these combinations as resource percentages. If rain interrupts, the target score for the team batting second can be adjusted relative to the total achieved by the team which batted first so as to reflect the loss of resources. The overall aim is to set a mathematically fair target for the team batting second, that has the same difficulty as the original target, or calculate a result if the match has started but cannot be completed.

The D/L method has been modified on several occasions to address minor criticisms. The data on which the table is based is updated every year to take account of recent matches. In 2015, the custody of the method passed to an Australian professor of data science, Steven Stern, with the method being renamed DLS.

A major concern expressed about DLS is its potential unsuitability for T20 cricket on the grounds that the format’s scoring patterns differ to ODIs. Stern compared patterns in T20s with those in the last 20 overs of ODIs and found no significant difference. DLS has been called into use four times so far in the current T20 World Cup and, as is usually the case, has produced fair revised targets and outcomes. This is a remarkable achievement.


Cameroon beat Brazil 1-0 in final group game at World Cup

Cameroon beat Brazil 1-0 in final group game at World Cup
Updated 10 sec ago

Cameroon beat Brazil 1-0 in final group game at World Cup

Cameroon beat Brazil 1-0 in final group game at World Cup
LUSAIL, Qatar: Vincent Aboubakar scored with a header two minutes into stoppage time in Cameroon’s 1-0 win over Brazil at the World Cup on Friday, a result that still allowed the five-time champions to win the group and eliminated the Africans.
Aboubakar was then sent off with a second yellow card for taking off his shirt during his celebration.
Brazil, which had already reached the knockout stage after victories over Serbia and Switzerland, will face South Korea in the round of 16.
Brazil finished with six points, the same as Switzerland but the South Americans had a better goal difference. The Swiss also advanced and will face Portugal. Cameroon ended with four points and Serbia one.
Coach Tite rested nearly all of his regular starters and made 10 changes from the win against Switzerland on Monday.
Brazil was still without the injured Neymar, but the star forward was at Lusail Stadium to watch the match with his teammates.

Switzerland beat Serbia 3-2 to reach last 16 of World Cup

Switzerland beat Serbia 3-2 to reach last 16 of World Cup
Updated 11 min 47 sec ago

Switzerland beat Serbia 3-2 to reach last 16 of World Cup

Switzerland beat Serbia 3-2 to reach last 16 of World Cup
  • Remo Freuler scored the winning goal just after halftime as the Swiss secured second place in Group G
  • They will next face Portugal on Tuesday at Lusail Stadium

DOHA: Switzerland advanced to the last 16 of the World Cup for the third tournament in a row after a 3-2 win over Serbia on Friday.
Remo Freuler scored the winning goal just after halftime as the Swiss secured second place in Group G. They will next face Portugal on Tuesday at Lusail Stadium.
Xherdan Shaqiri put Switzerland ahead early in the first half before Aleksandar Mitrovic and Dusan Vlahovic responded for Serbia. Breel Embolo evened the score just before halftime.
Switzerland needed a win to guarantee themselves a place in the knockout round after beating Cameroon and losing to Brazil in their opening two games. The team reached the round of 16 at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and again four years later in Russia. They lost 1-0 in both matches, to Argentina and Sweden, respectively.
Against Portugal, the Swiss will be looking to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since hosting the competition in 1954.


Ronaldo ‘insulted’ by South Korean player in World Cup loss

Ronaldo ‘insulted’ by South Korean player in World Cup loss
Updated 02 December 2022

Ronaldo ‘insulted’ by South Korean player in World Cup loss

Ronaldo ‘insulted’ by South Korean player in World Cup loss
  • The 37-year-old skipper looked miffed and ambled off slowly when his number went up in the 65th minute
  • "He was angry with the player from Korea and everyone saw that," Santos said

DOHA: Cristiano Ronaldo was “insulted” by a South Korean player as he was substituted during Portugal’s 2-1 World Cup defeat on Friday, coach Fernando Santos said.
The 37-year-old skipper looked miffed and ambled off slowly when his number went up in the 65th minute.
Santos denied that was because he was upset at being hooked.
“He was angry with the player from Korea and everyone saw that,” Santos said after his side topped Group H despite conceding in injury time to fall to defeat for the first time in Qatar.
“The player was insulting him, telling him to go away (get off the pitch) so that’s why he was angry and everyone saw that.
“I saw the interaction with the Korean player and have no doubt about it.”
Becoming irritated by the line of questioning, Santos added: “He (the Korean player) was not aggressive, he was verbally aggressive.
“He was speaking in English to Cristiano and Cristiano said, ‘Well, perhaps he did not have a good day.’“
South Korean midfielder Hwang In-beom attempted to play down the controversy.
“I didn’t see it, I was too tired,” he said. “I was looking at the ground, so I didn’t see it and I have nothing to say.”


Uruguay beats Ghana 2-0 at World Cup but both teams out

Uruguay beats Ghana 2-0 at World Cup but both teams out
Updated 02 December 2022

Uruguay beats Ghana 2-0 at World Cup but both teams out

Uruguay beats Ghana 2-0 at World Cup but both teams out
  • Suarez was distraught on the sidelines and covered his face
  • Suarez had been substituted when the screen at Al-Janoub Stadium suddenly flashed that South Korea was in second place

AL-WAKRAH, Qatar: This time, Luis Suarez cried on the sidelines after Uruguay were eliminated from the World Cup despite a 2-0 win over Ghana on Friday.
The result also put Ghana out of the competition.
Suarez played a key role in both first-half goals scored by Giorgian De Arrascaeta and Uruguay appeared headed for the round of 16 after inflicting more pain on Ghana 12 years after their now-infamous meeting in the quarterfinals at the World Cup in South Africa.
Then, Suarez denied Ghana a winning goal with a deliberate handball on the goal-line and having been sent off, he celebrated wildly on the sidelines when Ghana missed the resultant penalty.
Uruguay were in a position to go through in Qatar until South Korea’s late goal gave it a 2-1 win over Portugal in the other Group H game. That meant Uruguay needed to score one more goal in the dying minutes of its game to qualify.
They didn’t and were eliminated because they had scored fewer goals than South Korea in the group stage. Suarez was distraught on the sidelines and covered his face with his shirt having been substituted in what was likely his last World Cup appearance.
Uruguay’s goals came in a six-minute spell soon after Ghana raised more memories of the 2010 quarterfinal by missing a penalty.
A Suarez shot led to De Arrascaeta’s opener and Suarez set up the second with a clever pass that De Arrascaeta volleyed in. After those two strikes, Uruguay thought it was on its way to the knockouts.
Ghana captain Andre Ayew, the team’s only survivor from the 2010 squad, had his penalty saved by Sergio Rochet in the 21st minute and the game changed immediately after that. De Arrascaeta scored in the 26th and 32nd minutes to crush Ghana hopes.
But the Uruguayans were ultimately also crushed.
Suarez had been substituted when the screen at Al-Janoub Stadium suddenly flashed that South Korea was in second place in the group after a late goal against Portugal.
Uruguay surged forward in search of the goal that would have put it through. Substitutes Maximiliano Gomez and Sebastian Coates both missed late chances and Suarez was crying after the final whistle.


Saudi motorsport chiefs predict ‘best ever’ Red Bull Car Park Drift world final in Jeddah

Saudi motorsport chiefs predict ‘best ever’ Red Bull Car Park Drift world final in Jeddah
Updated 02 December 2022

Saudi motorsport chiefs predict ‘best ever’ Red Bull Car Park Drift world final in Jeddah

Saudi motorsport chiefs predict ‘best ever’ Red Bull Car Park Drift world final in Jeddah
  • Jeddah will host 21 drifters from 18 different countries who will battle it out to be named the Red Bull Car Park Drift King

JEDDAH: For the first time ever the Red Bull Car Park Drift World Final will be held in Saudi Arabia on December 8 in Jeddah.

Organizers Saudi Motorsport Company and Jeddah Corniche Circuit are promising fans the “best ever” season-ending event as tickets for the final have gone on sale.

Jeddah will host 21 drifters from 18 different countries who will battle it out to be named the Red Bull Car Park Drift King of Drift for 2022. 

Expert power control, pure pace, and the most delicate of touches will be the difference between victory and defeat for the competitors, set to deliver packed grandstands and a festive atmosphere.

For Saudi motorsport fans, the event will welcome three competitors from the Kingdom. Those drivers will be confirmed at a qualifying event on 3 December.

With tickets available for all fans of high octane, Saudi Motorsport Company (SMC) CEO, Martin Whitaker, said he is counting down the days to one of Jeddah’s biggest automotive moments. 

“I believe the Jeddah Corniche Circuit is one of the best ever venues in the long and impressive history of the Red Bull Car Park Drift and we expect an event which is more than equal to this stunning location,” he said.

“This is such a special event for the region, and we are so proud to be able to bring it to Jeddah and give drifting fans the chance to experience world-class competition.

“Of course, with three Saudi Arabian drivers competing in the final we expect the crowd to be more enthusiastic than ever and how special it would be to see a local driver crowned the King of Drift,” he added.

The Saudi drivers will go head-to-head with drifters who qualified in competitions from Jamaica to Mauritius, Sri Lanka to Pakistan, Kenya to South Africa, while the series also travelled through Poland, Estonia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, as well as Qatar, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon.