World T20 2014 England V New Zealand Group 1 Match – A failure of the Duckworth and Lewis method?
The group match between England and New Zealand saw England score 172 of 6 in their allotted twenty overs. New Zealand responded with 52 for a field in 5.2 overs when the game had to be abandoned due to thunderstorms and rain. New Zealand was declared the winner using the D&L method.
These are the reasons why NZ should not have been declared the winner.
Of the 379 T20s played up to this match, the team playing second has chased 173 or more only 13 times,
New Zealand has chased a target of 172 or more just once. But the opposition at the time was a weaker team from Zimbabwe (NZ vs Zimbabwe in Hamilton on February 14, 2012).
New Zealand successfully chased a 169 goal against SA, a stronger team. (NZ vs SA in East London December 23, 2012).
So based on historical data, the probability that a team can chase 173 is 13/379 is 3.43%. Which implies that NZ would have lost this game 96.57% of the time.
Following New Zealand’s own record, they have played around 72 T20s of which they have won a game chasing more than 172 just once. But that was against a weaker team and, in fact, I have never chased a target more than 172.
Therefore, the D&L method awarded the match in favor of NZ when the original result would have been a defeat in 96-97% of the cases.
The shortcomings of the D&L method are:
a.) The Method does not take into account the probability or possibility that a team would have won or lost the original game, had it not been interrupted by rain. Here the original result could have been altered by the D&L method.
If one does not consider historical data and uses data that is related only to scoring patterns during an entry, then,
b.) New Zealand 52-for-1 after 5.2 overs could have lost ground due to the pressure of chasing a high goal. After 5.2 overs, it is not possible to predict the outcome of the actual game with 100% accuracy. If there were 172 runs to score and if NZ had been 140-1 after 15 overs and it had rained, then we could be sure that NZ would have won 90% of the time. 10% chance that the prediction itself would. be correct.
The D&L method should not be used in all cases. It should be used only when the probability that your prediction is correct and accurate is high. In the case of this match, the progress of the game after 5.2 overs to the 20th over was not guaranteed and would surely yield a result in favor of NZ’s victory.
The D&L method should not change an easily predictable “original result”, as in this case England would have won 97% of the time a target of 172 was set, but was still declared “lost”.