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What is DLS Method in Cricket

The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method in cricket is a mathematical formula used in cricket to adjust target scores in rain-affected limited-overs matches. It often confuses cricket enthusiasts due to its intricate calculations and adjustments.

Despite its confusion, the method remains a vital tool in ensuring fairness in rain-affected matches, providing a structured framework for recalculating target scores. It takes into account the number of overs remaining, wickets lost, and the scoring patterns of the innings so far. The aim is to give the team batting second a fair chance to chase the revised target in a reduced number of overs.

While having a reserve day for limited-overs matches seems perfect, logistical constraints make it tricky. When inclement weather disrupts a match, and teams don’t complete their allotted overs, reaching a result becomes confusing within the available time, and that is why DLS method forms a crucial part of cricket.

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Why DLS Method Used in Cricket?

The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method is a system used in cricket to adjust target scores in limited-overs matches affected by rain. It ensures fairness by recalculating the target based on the resources available to both teams when play is interrupted.

The DLS method adjusts the target on available resources, considering both overs and wickets as crucial factors. At the start of an innings, a team has 100% of its resources, represented by 50 overs and 10 wickets. Throughout the innings, the remaining balls and wickets are expressed as a percentage using the DLS method. 

Determining the percentage value of a wicket or a ball involves analysing statistics from ODI and T20 matches over a four-year period. This analysis considers the scoring patterns observed in international matches to establish the significance of each wicket or ball in influencing the game’s outcome.

Let’s say Team A sets a target of 250 runs in 50 overs. Due to rain, Team B only gets to bat for 30 overs before play is interrupted. At that point, Team B has scored 150 runs for the loss of 3 wickets. The DLS method takes into account the overs remaining and wickets lost to determine a revised target for Team B to chase when play resumes.

The DLS method in cricket was originally formulated by English statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis. It was introduced in 1997 and officially adopted by the ICC in 1999. Following the retirement of Duckworth and Lewis, Steven Stern took over as the custodian of the method. In November 2014, the method was renamed to its current title, incorporating Stern’s contribution to its evolution and refinement.

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Examples of the DLS Method 

There have been plenty of instances when the DLS method was used. These are some –

In the 4th India – England ODI during the 2008 series, rain interruptions led to a reduction in overs for both innings, setting the stage for a D/L method decision. Both innings were reduced to 22 overs each. With India batting first, they managed to score 166/4 in their allotted overs. Utilizing the D/L method, England’s target was adjusted to 198 runs from 22 overs. However, they fell short, scoring 178/8 in their 22 overs. 

Another example is the first ODI between India and Pakistan in their 2006 series, when the D/L method came into play. India posted a total of 328 runs while batting first. Pakistan, chasing the target, reached 311/7 by the 47th over when bad light halted play. Had the match continued, Pakistan’s target was 18 runs from 18 balls with three wickets remaining, a feasible task. However, applying the D/L method changed the target to 305 runs by the end of the 47th over. Consequently, Pakistan won by 7 runs via the D/L method. 

More recently, during the 2023 Indian Premier League final, the DLS method came into play following rain disruptions. Chennai Super Kings had scored 4/0 in 0.3 overs before the rain interruption, while the Gujarat Titans managed to post 214/4 in their 20 overs. Due to the interruption, the target for CSK was revised to 171 runs from 15 overs, down from the initial target of 215 runs from 20 overs. CSK successfully chased down the revised target, reaching 171/5 in 15 overs, and won the match by five wickets.

FAQs about DLS Method in Cricket

Q) What is DLS method in cricket?

A) The DLS method in cricket is a way to adjust target scores in matches affected by rain or bad weather. It helps make the game fair by considering how many overs and wickets are left when play is interrupted.

Q) What is DLS method full form?

A) The full form of DLS method in cricket is Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method. It’s named after the statisticians who created it: Frank Duckworth, Tony Lewis, and Steven Stern.

Q) Has the DLS method been used in the IPL?

A) The DLS method was utilized in the 2023 IPL final due to rain interruptions. Chennai Super Kings were set a revised target of 171 runs in 15 overs after Gujarat Titans posted 214/4. CSK successfully chased down the target and won the match by five wickets.



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