The Complete Duckworth-lewis (DLS) Method Explained

The DLS method is used in cricket when the match is being interrupted by rain or other circumstances. It’s a mathematical system employed to calculate target scores and reach outcomes in rain-shortened limited-overs matches. It is so far the best and most accurate method to calculate target scores.

Most of us don’t know much about DLS, we always think it’s some UNFAIR method especially when our team is on the losing side. but it’s a proper mathematical system that is being used for almost 21 years now.

DLS system was introduced by two Statisticians FRANK DUCKWORTH and TONY LEWIS in 1997, however, it was officially introduced by ICC in 1999. since 1999 its been used in all the rain-interrupted matches.

DLS system is not always used in second innings, it can be used to calculate the target of first innings. In modern Cricket teams have to keep this method in their plans. This method could be unfair in a way that usually in 50 overs match, Top order takes some time like 15-20 overs, and then starts hitting. But if we apply DLS, it will calculate the target from those overs played even though the top order didn’t know it will rain. but it is usually criticized just because it is so complicated to understand as it contains heavy math.DLS is a very complicated method. Once Dhoni was asked if he understands it and he said “I don’t think the ICC understands it either.

Minimum overs to be bowled for DLS to apply are 20 in 50 overs match and 5 in 20 overs match. Remember it is applicable only for limited-overs matches. it is applied in two ways ;


Applying the D/L method For each team’s innings. …

1- If Team B has fewer resources (overs to play and wickets remaining) available than Team A, then calculate the ratio of the resources available to the two teams.

2- If Team B has more resources available than Team A, then calculate the amount by which Team B’sresource percentage exceeds Team A’s.

Two common terms in the DLS system are Par Score and Target Score. Par score is the total that a chasing team should have reached – when they are ‘X’ wickets down – at the time of interruption while the target score is the revised score that a team is required to get after an interruption. In a nutshell, par scores are calculated before an interruption, while targets are calculated after an interruption. The target is one fixed number, while the par score changes according to the number of wickets lost.

So the DLS method is the most accurate in cricket. There is another method being used in Indian Domestic which is The VJD method, devised by a civil engineer from Kerala, V Jayadevan. It is a method that is an alternative to the DLS (Duckworth, Lewis, and Sterne) Method.

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