Discover all information and details about the Duckworth Lewis (DLS) Method in Cricket. Explore each aspect of DLS with examples here.

The limited over cricket at the international level has the biggest fan following and cricket enthusiasts all over the world. It has been the most-played format for a decade or more now. In addition, there have been many instances of limited over cricket where the match result gets affected by different weather conditions, especially rains. Earlier there was always the reserve day for such consideration during the cricket matches. However, it was always very difficult to conduct a reserve day for every match interruption due to rain.

The DLS method was the best savior to date for such situations in international matches. It has given accurate and precise solutions for the teams playing and makes the match-winner declaration convenient. The DLS method uses the resources of wickets and overs to calculate the target in which wickets are given more importance. This method sometimes upsets the one team in the match as they cannot perform with full resources. Hence, the DLS method has certain criticisms and limitations which is fair as the method is derived and cannot match the strength of players for calculating targets. Despite all these DLS has worked well for the limited over cricket match results and has given mostly accurate winners. Now let’s elaborate more about the DLS method here.

What is the DLS Method?

The full form of the DLS Method is the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method. It is made by Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis (English statisticians). The method came into use in the year 1997. This method is applied in cricket when the match is interrupted by rain to declare the winner or calculate the target. DLS is a mathematical system and has been a savior in limited-over cricket when rain interrupts the matches. The DLS method is used to know the winner within the target scored before the rain in the matches or set the target for the opposition team as per its rulings. This DLS method helps the cricket matches to be fair with the target and winners when the rains interrupt. 

How Does the DLS Method Work? Know The Calculation Method

The DLS method uses and considers both the important aspects of the match which are wickets and overs to make the target based on the ongoing situations. The limited-over match is about 50 overs and 10 wickets which is 100% resources present at the beginning. The role of the DLS method here is to calculate the remaining wicket and balls after the match is interrupted with rain in percentage. It uses a set pattern of formula which goes as Team 2’s par score = Team 1’s score x (Team 2’s resources/Team 1’s resources). To make this formula simpler, this is applied to obtain a target with the help of calculations of runs scored in normal circumstances with full resources available to the team. The DLS method mostly depends on the pattern of scoring runs in international format matches like (ODI and T20).

In addition, the DLS method also gets the resource values from the program by computer. Since the method is programmed there are no perfect calculations towards the wickets and overs to decide the target for any team. Also, the batting lineup of each team has the potential to score runs and they can outperform or underperform due to the application of the DLS method in the match.

Examples of How The DLS Method Works

  1. India vs Bangladesh (T20 World Cup 2022)

In this match, India was batting first and they recorded a total of 184/6 in 20 overs. India completed their over 20 overs without any rain interruption. However, things were not the same for Bangladesh. They were restricted to score only 66/0 within 7 overs of the rain. 

Here by applying the DLS method, Bangladesh par score should be 49. This goes by the DLS formula: 

DLS target for Bangladesh in 7 overs= 184 * (100-Rb) / 100 = 49.

Rb = resource available for Bangladesh.

So based on this calculation process the resource value available for the Bangladesh (Rb) team is 73.36 along with the 13 overs and 10 wickets.  

Bangladesh resource before rain= 100%: 20 overs with 10 wickets

Bangladesh resource after rain : R1: 13 overs with 10 wickets

Bangladesh resource after restart with 16 overs = R2: 9 overs with 10 wickets

DLS Bangladesh target (16 overs) = 184 * (100-(R1-R2)) / 100.

R1 value is equal to Rb which is 73.36. 

R2 value = 54.88 to 55.42( As per the DLS resource table)

Hence, the Bangladesh target after the DLS method calculations is 151 runs within 16 overs. 

2. Team A vs Team B

Assume that this was a 50-over match between Team A and Team B. Here Team A batted first and put up a target of 300 runs in 50 overs without any delay of rains. But when it’s time for Team B batting, the rain comes in and they get to score only 250/4 in 40 overs. Since the match is left with only 10 overs there is no chance of resuming the match due to the rains. Here the DLS Method will be applied to declare the winner of the match. 

Now, Team A had 100% resources (50 overs) to use while they batted. However, Team B did not use 100% resources to bat due to the rains. They used only 40 overs and 4 wickets in the match. So as per the calculation of the DLS method, Team B has 26.1 percent resources( DLS resource chart value).


( Team A used resource)100% – 26.1% (Team B used resource )= 73.9 

Here it is evident that Team B has fewer resources to use while batting. Hence, the DLS method will calculate their target less than the actual target scored by Team A. 

It is calculated as (Team A target) 300 x (remaining resource) 73.9 / 100 = 221.7

Hence, Team B’s target should be 222 runs as per the DLS method rule. However, Team B  scored more than 222 runs, that is 250 runs. 

Therefore, Team B is the winner of this match as they have scored more than DLS ‘given target. (Team B scored target) 250 – (Team B Dls Target) 222= 28 runs.

Benefits of The DLS Method And Why It is Needed

Benefits of the DLS Method 

  • Despite the criticism around the DLS  method, it is a method that is derived systematically and is considered to be the fair method in the game of cricket.  
  • The DLS method is one of the most convenient and flexible methods to get a solution in difficult situations of matches.
  • One can easily follow and calculate the target with the help of the DLS method without any device such as a computer or mobile.

Now Let’s Understand Why The DLS Method is Needed.

Whenever there are any critical situations in the cricket matches, there is always an option to hold a reserve day and start the match where it’s stopped. However, due to the challenges and preparations around the matches, it is not always possible to hold a reserve day. Hence, the DLS method is there to rescue the extra challenges and preparations when matches get interrupted by rain. The DLS method provides fair solutions to both teams and declares the fair winner. Though, you cannot get the exact result as the normal match day the DLS method tries to cover for both teams’ scores, overs, and targets and get a fair decision out of it. Therefore, till now DLS is considered as the most accurate and convenient method to use in such situations in international cricket.

Criticisms and Limitations of The DLS Method

  • The DLS method will always provide a result that is fair and logical in normal circumstances.
  • The programmed resources of the DLS method predict the team performances whereas the result is always the opposite of the prediction when the matches are played typically.  
  • Although the DLS method is considered the most accurate method, there are many things that it needs to conduct more fairly. 
  • The DLS method focuses more on wickets and not on overs. This puts a lot of pressure on the team defending the score and it gets easier for the chasing team as their run rate decreases. 
  • The calculations and rules of the DLS method are complicated for anybody to understand easily, even cricket experts and players.

Also Read – What are the kho kho rules? Everything You Need to Know

About Author