Monday 10 June 2013

More Net Run Rate issues

In my last post I looked at the problem with using net run rate in games where both teams lose a number of wickets. Only 2 days later the tournament threw up possibly the best counter-example to the net run rate system yet. New Zealand won an absolute cliff hanger over Sri Lanka. Even on the last ball there was a question of if the game was a tie or a New Zealand win. However, on the points table New Zealand were the most dominant of any team.

Because the game ended in the 37th over, New Zealand are recorded as winning with a net run rate of +1.048. The most comprehensive victory of the round, (England over Australia) only got +0.96. This is clearly not right.

During the lead up to the 1992 World Cup there were a number of statisticians who expressed some doubts about the Benaud system of dealing with rain shortened matches.  The system was flawed, but the thought was that a flawed system that was easy was better than a more complicated system like Duckworth-Lewis.  The semi-final between South Africa and England proved that completely wrong.

Hopefully the ICC can wake up to this issue before a tournament is damaged by the best team missing out through net run rates.

Here's my points tables, using the modified Duckworth-Lewis method.

Pool A
New Zealand112+7
Sri Lanka100-7

Pool b
West Indies112+23
South Africa100-26


  1. No nz was the dominant team. They bowled better than anyone else have by far except for SL one man malinga show. Nz deserve this and if for anything this raises the stake.of the game making such thrillers even more exciting

    Aditionally if teams are worried about net run rate then theyre obviously not the better teams. The better teams will win all the matches they play

    1. New Zealand won by 1 wicket. They may have played better than Sri Lanka, but they clearly did not thrash them like the official points table suggests.

      Good teams occasionally lose games. The nature of ODI cricket is that the best team normally wins, but not always. Hence if 3 teams end up on 2 wins each, we would want the two that have been the most dominant to go through. The current system hugely favours the team batting second.

  2. The system is flawed. NRR should be exactly that, NRR. Allocating 50 overs to a side batting first and getting bowled out within the 50 overs is not ideal. Lets assume NZ took 49 overs to chase down the SL total. They would still have a + NRR although they batted 11.2 overs more. Obviously their run rate was worse than SL's and the NRR should reflect that. Staying with the same game if the actual overs faced gets used in the calculation NZ would have a NRR of 0.295. Seems a much fairer reflection of the situation to me.

    Having said that I have not worked through a set of examples to see how or if the system may be manipulated.

    1. Do you think then it's fair for a team who scored 300 in 50 overs to have a worse net run rate than their opponents who get bowled out for 120 in 15 overs? Because your system that you propose would give the team that got bowled out for 120 a +2 NRR. I'm not sure that's fair either.

  3. Please have a look at what I am suggesting

    Alternative to NRR