A red hardball on the green ground. A red hardball on the green ground.

What is DLS Method in Cricket? And How is it Calculated?

The DLS Method in cricket, a mathematical calculator of target scores and results in white ball cricket, is likely to be influenced by weather conditions. Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, English Statisticians, initially developed it. In 1997, it was applied to calculate target scores in one-day internationals (ODIs) before the ICC formally adopted it in 1999.

1. All about the DLS Method 

After Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, Australian academic Steve Stern took over the Duckworth-Lewis method and renamed it the current Duckworth-Lewis Stern in November 2014, before the ICC World Cup. This method has since become an integral part of cricket.

1.1. The DLS Method First Implementation

In the past, there have been a lot of different ways to handle rain-affected cricket matches. The average run rate method was one of them. But it didn’t take into account how many remaining wickets were there. The other team lost in the same inning. Instead, the ARR method showed the team’s scoring rate when the rain stopped. If the group thought there was a good chance of rain, they could enforce the rate even if they lost a lot of wickets. Any comparison with the first-team batting wouldn’t be correct.

What is DLS method in Cricket
By Aksh yadav / Unsplash/ Copyright:2018

The most productive overs technique did more than merely take away wickets from the opposing team batting second. It also penalized them for good bowling by not including their best overs in the revised targets.

In January 1997, during a match between Zimbabwe and England, they initially implemented the Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) method. It was then officially introduced into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) calculation method for rain-affected games in 1999.

1.2. Importance of the Cricket BetterDLS Method in Cricket

A reserve day for limited-overs matches, with the match resumed the following day, appears to be ideal. However, due to logistical and schedule constraints, this may not always be a possible choice. So, the game administrator has been attempting for a long time to come up with the most equitable technique to resolve rain-affected matches.

If the game stops due to bad weather and one or both sides do not get their total number of overs, they must decide the result within the remaining overs and time required to get one or both teams to play again.

Duckworth-Lewis Method (DLS method)explained | Know cricket better series

Rain often interrupts cricket matches. It can cause delays or even force officials to call off the game. So, officials usually reduce the overs when it resumes. This condition necessitates the execution of a method to adjust the target score equitably. In certain situations, poor lighting or bad weather may prevent the second team batting from completing their allotted number of overs.

Therefore, it is not always correct to declare the winning team with the higher score as the winner’s limited-overs match. Cricket experts widely regard the DLS method in cricket as the most precise method used in international cricket.

1.3 DLS Calculation in Cricket

The purpose of any calculation is to adjust the score provided as a target based on the overs reduction. The ICC has attempted to create a formula that takes into account various factors and recognizes the efforts of both sides.

An Umpire white uniform giving his decision

The Duckworth Lewis Stern (DLS) method determines the target or results by figuring out how many runs each team would have runs scored if they had the same number of resources, which is the basic principle of calculation.
To put it another way:

  • Team 1 and 2’s par score is Team 1’s dls par score +x, which is the difference between Team 2 resource and Team 1 resource.
  • A computer program calculates the resources (done in private) in cricket.
  • The DLS method represents the number of balls and wickets remaining as a percentage.

2.  The Difference Between the Par Score and the Target Score

The par score is the expected score for the chasing or second team innings when the interruption occurred, meaning when they lost “X” wickets. In contrast, the revised target score represents what score a team may be capable of in their first innings after interruption.

The target score is a single numerical value for overs and ten wickets, whereas the DLS par scores vary depending on the loss of wickets. Before a break, they calculate par scores, whereas they calculate targets after a break.

3. How Does the DLS Method in Cricket Work?

The method works on the principle that a team has two resources: overs left to bowl and wickets to take. A team’s ability to make more runs at any stage of the inning depends on the combination of both of these resources. When officials reduce the time for a match, it influences one or both of these resources. They set D/L targets based on resource percentages relative to the team’s resources.

Before 2004, the standard edition of D/L only required a calculator. At the start of each inning, the batting team has 100% of their resources, including 50 overs and 10 wickets. The DLS method determines the percentage of remaining balls and wickets at any given time. The cost of each wicket or ball is calculated using a formula that considers the international match scoring system. This formula is based on data from men’s and women’s ODIs and T20s over the past four years. The DLS adapts to scoring trends and is updated annually on July 1st with a new database.

match was affected by rain and people covering the pitch.

4. Drawbacks of DLS

Cricket experts consider the DLS method in cricket to be more ‘unbiased’ than its predecessors; however, it still possesses some disadvantages. The DLS method was first introduced prior to the introduction of T20Is. Although the resource values and process have undergone a few modifications, the database is still an aggregated collection of ODI scoring patterns

5. Conclusion

The DLS method in cricket has improved the fairness of games, even in situations where interruptions occur. However, there are some limitations and regulations to consider. When we combine sports and mathematics, we can better understand how to measure and model real-world phenomena. Understanding the DLS method can let us appreciate cricket’s nuanced beauty in detail.

Last Updated on by Icy Canada Team


  • Sonal Singh

    Hi myself Sonal Singh, I'm a content creator passionate about transforming thoughts into stories, scribbling my way through the pages of life, I evolved into a content writer, where each sentence is a brushstroke painting the canvas of my storytelling adventure.

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