ICC Champions Trophy: Chasing D/L revised target, will Pakistan have advantage vs India

The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match between Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team at Edgbaston has been reduced to 48 overs due to rain. Pakistan will be chasing a revised target under the Duckworth-Lewis system. In an era of Twenty20 cricket, will this be an advantage for Pakistan?

Champions Trophy 2017
From the 2007 ICC World Cup, and before the start of the India vs Pakistan match at the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday, there were a total of eight matches which needed the implementation of Duckworth-Lewis method.(Getty Images)

A rain interruption during a cricket match changes its dynamics. Overs get reduced, teams are given a revised target and the nature of the match changes, drastically at times. In an ICC event, be it the World Cup or the Champions Trophy, where every match counts, a rain interruption and the revisions assume paramount significance.

With the ICC Champions Trophy league game between India and Pakistan affected by rain in Edgbaston, the Duckworth-Lewis scenario will be used and the targets will be revised accordingly for Pakistan, who are chasing. In the era of Twenty20s, cricket analysts and commentators have often said that the team chasing a total, especially in a rain-reduced game, gets a big advantage.

Is this statement true? In order to answer this question, one must break the dynamics of Duckworth-Lewis system in two eras.

The mid-point will be 2007, since that was the year where the inaugural World Twenty20 was held. The sample before 2007 is the pre-Twenty20 era that begins from the 1999 World Cup, the first major tournament after Duckworth-Lewis method was implemented. The sample after 2007 is the post-Twenty20 era that takes into account the current 2017 ICC Champions Trophy as well.

Chasing Duckworth-Lewis before 2007

The Duckworth-Lewis method of calculation for rain-reduced games came up after the fiasco involving the Rain-Rule method which was used previously.

In the 1992 World Cup, due to the complicated calculations of the Rain Rule, South Africa were dealt a cruel blow in the semifinal against England in Sydney where the initial target of 22 runs from seven balls was reduced to 22 off 1 ball. The resulting furore forced the ICC to incorporate the Duckworth-Lewis method in all ODIs from 1998.

This method was named after two mathematicians - Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis.

The sample takes into account both the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Champions Trophy. In the pre-Twenty20 period, there were 14 games in ICC tournaments in which Duckworth-Lewis method was applied due to rain. In Duckworth-Lewis situations, teams chasing second won six times, lost seven times and one game was tied, when South Africa misread the D/L par score.

The winning percentage when teams were chasing a revised score is 42.85.

Chasing Duckworth-Lewis after 2007

After 2007, with the advent of the World Twenty20 and the mushrooming of Twenty20 leagues across the cricketing world, batsmen have added power to their game and no target is too big for them.

In this period, the world witnessed few rain-interrupted games which required the intervention of Duckworth-Lewis. From the 2007 World Cup, and before the start of the India vs Pakistan at the ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday, there were a total of eight matches which needed the implementation of D/L method. Teams chasing won four times, with three losses and one tie, giving an overall percentage of 57.14.

The figures suggest that in a rain-truncated game, teams chasing have a slight advantage in the post-Twenty20 era as compared to before. With the India vs Pakistan match getting affected by rain, and with Virat Kohli’s side amassing 319/3 in 48 overs, it remains to be seen whether Pakistan can continue the trend of successful chases.
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