How is dls Method Calculated? - Comprehensive Analysis of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method in Cricket

author - Shubhamoy Majumder

Dive into our comprehensive guide to the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method in cricket. Understand its origin, calculation, and impact on cricket strategy, and discover how this intricate model brings fairness to rain-affected matches.

a cricket ground black and white

I. Introduction

A. Brief Overview of DLS Method

When a limited-overs game is postponed due to bad weather or other conditions, the target score for the side batting second is determined using the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) calculation. Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, statisticians, and Professor Steven Stern all contributed to its creation. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has designated the DLS technique as the standard way to determine the results of interrupted matches.

B. Importance in Cricket Matches

Unlike many other sports, cricket is substantially affected by the weather. It is difficult to set a reasonable target for the team batting second in a limited-overs match when play is interrupted due to inclement weather. In such situations, the DLS method ensures that the match result is as equitable as feasible, taking into account the overs lost and wickets taken.

C. Scope of the Article

The purpose of this article is to clarify the DLS method's calculation, relevance, constraints, and effects on cricket strategy. It is intended to instruct cricket fans, aspiring players, coaches, and anybody else interested in learning about the science behind this ground-breaking technique.

II. Understanding Cricket Scoring

A. Basic Scoring System in Cricket


The basic scoring unit in cricket is the 'run.' When a batter strikes the ball and runs from one end of the field to the other, he scores a run. The batsman can score multiple runs from a single delivery if they are able to dash between the wickets multiple times. Moreover, there are limitations. Four runs are scored if the ball crosses the outfield fence after rebonding at least once on the field after being struck. If the ball crosses the boundary without rebounding, it is considered a six.'


The team's total includes "extras" or "sundries" in addition to runs scored by the batters. Wides, no balls, byes, and leg-byes are examples of extras. When the bowler delivers a ball that is judged to be too far away for the batter to strike, it is called a "wide." For unlawful deliveries, like when the bowler steps above the popping crease, a "no-ball" signal is used. Runs are scored "byes" and "leg-byes" when the ball does not touch the bat.

B. Factors Affecting Scoring

Over Limit

Each team has a predetermined number of 'overs' to compete in limited-overs cricket. An over comprises six legitimate deliveries. The limit could be 50 overs (similar to One-Day Internationals) or 20 overs (similar to Twenty20 matches). The over limit limits the number of runs a team can achieve.

Weather Conditions

Cricket scores may be significantly influenced by the weather. Weather that is favourable might help batters score easily. On the other hand, severe weather can cause the pitch to get wet, making it challenging for the batsmen to strike the ball.

III. The Need for DLS Method

A. Role of Weather in Cricket Matches

Rain Interruptions

Rain frequently interrupts cricket contests. It may result in delays or even cancellation of the game. When play is resumed, the number of overs is typically reduced, necessitating a method to modify the target score in a fair manner.

Incomplete Matches

It's sometimes unjust to simply proclaim the team with the greater score as the victor when a match cannot be finished, for example because of poor lighting or terrible weather, because the second batting side may not have had the opportunity to complete their allocated overs.

B. Problems with Previous Methods

Previous methods for modifying scores in interrupted games, such as the Average Run Rate and Most Productive Overs methods, had limitations. They failed to account for the number of wickets lost by the batting team, a crucial factor in determining the game's outcome.

C. Introduction of DLS Method

The DLS system was designed to provide the side batting second a more reasonable and balanced aim. It is a more thorough technique of adjusting the scoring in a cricket match that has been stopped since it considers both the number of overs lost and the number of wickets taken.

IV. Basics of DLS Method

A. Key Principles behind DLS Method

Concept of Resources

The DLS method employs the notion of resources.' In cricket, a team's resources consist of the remaining number of overs and the number of wickets in possession. As the match continues, fewer resources are available. When a match is interrupted, the calculation of how many resources the team batting second loses as a result of the interruption is crucial in determining the revised target.

Projected Score Calculation

The DLS approach speculates on what the result could have been in the absence of the interruption. It accomplishes this by contrasting the two teams' resources at the same time in their innings. Based on this forecast, the team batting second is set a new objective.

B. Factors Considered in DLS Method

Number of Overs Remaining

The quantity of remaining overs plays an important role in the calculation. It serves to determine how many potential runs the team could achieve.

Number of Wickets Lost

The number of wickets lost influences the objective as well. A team with more wickets in hand is more likely to score runs quickly because they have more opportunities.

C. Understanding the Standard Edition Table

One of the most important components of the computation is the Standard Edition DLS table. It gives the amount of resources still available for every given number of remaining overs and lost wickets.

D. Understanding the Professional Edition Table

The Professional Edition of the DLS method, which is used in professional cricket, employs a more complex model that adjusts the scores using a different formula. This model takes into account factors such as scoring patterns and historical data.

V. Calculation of DLS Method

A. Step-by-step Calculation Process

Calculation of Resources Left

A specific resource' value in the DLS database corresponds to each combination of wickets lost and overs left. When a game is halted, the proportion of resources lost is determined by deducting the remaining resources from the resources present when play restarts.

Par Score Calculation

Given the resources of both teams, the par score is the score the second team should have attained at the point of interruption to equalise the game. It is computed using the first team's tally and the percentage of resources lost.

Adjusted Target Calculation

Since a match is won by scoring one higher than the par score, the modified objective is the par score plus one. Typically, this revised objective is rounded to the nearest whole number.

B. Example Cases and Calculations

Case when the First Innings is Interrupted

The DLS method determines the appropriate number of overs for the second team's innings when the first team's innings is interrupted.

Case when the Second Innings is Interrupted

The DLS technique is used to adjust the second team's goal when their innings is halted depending on the number of overs they've lost and the number of wickets they've taken.

Case when both Innings are Interrupted

In situations where both innings are interrupted, the DLS method is applied twice: once following the first team's inning and once during the second team's inning.

C. Handling Special Situations

Multiple Interruptions

When there are several pauses during a match, the DLS approach is used to continually modify the target.

Changing the Number of Overs

If the number of overs in a match is reduced, the DLS method is used to calculate a new target score to reflect the change.

VI. Criticism and Limitations of DLS Method

A. Issues with DLS Method

Criticism from Players and Experts

Despite being widely used across the world, the DLS approach is not without its detractors. Some athletes and industry professionals contend that it occasionally gives one team an unfair edge, particularly in games with low scoring or when rain delays the second inning.

Occasions where DLS Method Fails

When the team batting first experiences a dramatic change in scoring rate towards the conclusion of their innings, the DLS method may fail to provide an accurate result. This change may not be completely accounted for by the method when setting the revised objective.

B. Ongoing Improvements in DLS Method

Updating the DLS Tables

The DLS statistics have been updated throughout time to reflect how cricket scoring has changed over time, with teams currently scoring at a considerably higher pace than in the past. For professional matches, the DLS method's 'Professional Edition' provides more precise outcomes.

Proposals for Alternative Methods

Alternative approaches have been proposed by critics to address perceived problems with the DLS system. These include the 'Jayadevan system,' which takes a distinct mathematical approach, and the 'VJD system,' which concentrates on the pattern of run accumulation on the batting side.

VII. Comparison with Other Methods

A. Most Runs Method

The easiest approach is to determine the game depending on who scores the most runs. However, in a match that is stopped, this system is highly unfair because the second team might not have had the chance to bat for the same amount of overs as the first team.

B. Average Run Rate Method

The Average Run Rate method uses the average number of runs scored per over to determine the tally. However, it has a significant drawback in that it does not account for wickets lost, which considerably affect a team's scoring rate.

C. Parabola Method

As an alternative, the Parabola Method, which views the run rate as parabolic, has been suggested. It gives wickets taken later in the innings greater significance. The DLS approach is more accurate and thorough than this one, though.

D. Comparison with DLS Method

The DLS method is a more balanced and equitable system than the alternatives. It is a more precise indicator of a team's prospective score because it takes into consideration both the overs lost and the wickets taken. Despite its limitations, it remains the most popular method for interrupted matches.

VIII. Impact of DLS Method on Cricket Strategy

A. Influence on Batting Strategy

Influence on Batting Order

The batting order plan has been considerably impacted by the DLS system, particularly when there is a chance of rain or other interruptions. Teams may move hard-hitting batsmen up the order in an attempt to score rapidly while anticipating the application of the DLS strategy.

Influence on Run Accumulation

The DLS method favours teams that score runs consistently throughout each inning. Teams may alter their run accumulation strategy, scoring consistently from the outset as opposed to starting slowly and accelerating later on.

B. Influence on Bowling Strategy

Influence on Bowling Order

Additionally, teams could change their bowling lineup in response to probable DLS estimates. Knowing that the DLS system substantially influences the amount of wickets lost, captains may decide to bowl their best bowlers sooner in an effort to try to take early wickets.

Influence on Bowling Style

Bowlers may concentrate on maintaining a precise line and length to control the run rate, as an inflated run rate could result in a challenging revised target in the event of an interruption.

IX. Conclusion

A. Recap of Key Points

This article sought to clarify the mysterious Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) technique, a crucial but sometimes misunderstood component of contemporary cricket. The fundamentals of cricket scoring, the need for a technique like DLS, how the DLS method is computed, and how it contrasts with other ways have all been thoroughly examined. We also looked at some DLS technique criticism and how it affects cricket strategy.

B. Current and Future Relevance of DLS Method

Due to its emphasis on equity and precision, the DLS method continues to be the most prevalent system for adjusting scores in rain-affected cricket matches. It has altered how matches are regarded and performed, influencing strategic decisions and adding a layer of complexity. As cricket continues to develop, it is probable that the DLS method will be refined to keep up with the game's progression.

C. Final Thoughts

Despite its drawbacks and restrictions, the DLS technique has unquestionably improved game fairness in the case of interruptions. The combination of sports and mathematics is intriguing because it shows how challenging real-world phenomena may be measured and modelled. We may better appreciate cricket's subtle beauty by comprehending the DLS approach.

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