Big Bash League 2012-13 December 13, 2012

BBL blushes after controversial Stars win


Big Bash League officials were forced to clarify the match result from Wednesday night's second round clash at the WACA after confusion clouded the Melbourne Stars 24-run win* under the Duckworth/Lewis method over the Perth Scorchers.

"The KFC T20 Big Bash League has received a lot of enquiries and there's been much interest in how the outcome of last night's match between the Scorchers and Stars was reached and we'd like to address any confusion," BBL's Mike McKenna said. "We have spent today briefing many stakeholders about the result and the rules surrounding rain-affected matches."

One of those stakeholders was Scorchers coach Justin Langer, who had earlier flagged a discussion with BBL officials. "The result was probably fair because we played so poorly. But at the end of the day the process was unusual," Langer said. "We will be taking it up with Cricket Australia, the process side of it. It was a bit of a farce in the end."

WACA chief executive Christina Matthews wrote to Cricket Australia on behalf of the Scorchers side, as did Paul Marsh, CEO of the Australian Cricketers Association.

The match finished in extraordinary circumstances. The Stars were 0 for 29 after just two overs in pursuit of the Scorchers' record-low score of 69 when heavy rain halted play at 6.39 pm local time. As was explained by the umpires on the night, the BBL statement confirmed that another three overs of play were required to constitute a match. Play needed to resume at 7.51pm local time for those three overs to be bowled in time.

The rain stopped, as if by royal decree from Stars captain, spin king, Shane Warne. The umpires completed a field inspection at 7.35pm, deemed it fit for play, and rescheduled the match to start at 7.51pm. Both teams were notified. One Scorchers squad member suggested post-match that there was "no way the field was fit for play."

Under the Duckworth/Lewis method the target for the Stars was recalculated. The calculation, which itself has been disputed, ensured that the Stars required just six runs from five overs. Even though the Stars had already reached and exceeded the target, given the D/L target had changed when overs were lost play needed to resume to set the revised target.

Play resumed at 7.52pm after a minor delay. Hilton Cartwright bowled one ball to Rob Quiney, who allowed it to pass through to the keeper, and the match was over as the Stars had reached their revised target after 2.1 overs.

The BBL statement referred to clause 12.6.2 b (iii) of the playing conditions, "To constitute a match, a minimum of 5 overs have to be bowled to the team batting second subject to a result not being achieved earlier." League officials were adamant the correct processes had been followed.

Despite the official clarification reports emerged that coaches and players from elsewhere in the BBL were unhappy with the result given the importance of Warne, and the Stars, to the competition's success. Later, that extra ball bowled after the rain was expunged and the victory margin changed from 10 wickets to 24 runs.

*09.10GMT, December 14: This article has been updated to reflect the change in the victory margin.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Perth

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 16, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    I get it now. At 7.51pm, there was time to bowl 5 overs. The D/L system had determined the Stars required X amount of runs (seems to be confusion as if this was 6 or 20) - the amount of runs required however, was based on them using all of their resources, so no calculation was required to figure in the wickets that MIGHT fall.

    Therefore, once that final ball was delivered, the D/L system was in play - target X, the stars were beyond that - therefore they won.

    In saying all that - the decision is a farce. 5 overs constitutes a match, this didn't have 5 overs - tough luck Stars is the answer - doesn't matter how much better they were.

  • Roo on December 16, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Never liked the D/L system - if a match cannot be fully played out it isn't a match but an artificial concoction that has been developed to suit rain affect games that greatly benefits the team playing second... The best team on the day doesn't always win under D/L, so belittling the whole competition... The same could be said of the super over - why isn't a draw a dignified way of awarding equal match points?... This is all surely a process that is media driven & taking away what should be a fair competition between 2 teams...

  • Pelham on December 15, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    @Sampra2457 on (December 14 2012, 17:14 PM GMT): Try it this way. When a match is shortened in the middle of Team2's innings, a revised target is set which depends on the number of overs bowled before the interruption, the number of overs lost, and the number of wickets lost at the time of the interruption, but crucially NOT the number of runs scored at the time of the interruption. Suppose Stars had scored 0 for 0 at the time of the interruption. Then they would have had to score all 20 runs off the last three overs. Had they been 0 for 10 they would have had to score another 10. Had they been 0 for 19 they would only have needed to score one more run, and the match would have ended as soon as they scored that run. As they had already scored (more than) 20 runs, they did not need any more runs, so there was no need for them to go out to bat for the final three overs.

  • Adhitya on December 15, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    Duckworth-Lewis method might be fine for ODIs but it simply will not work for the T20 version of the game!

  • David on December 15, 2012, 5:01 GMT

    @Sampra2457, it's the 5 over farce that's the real issue here. Because what would have happened if the Stars had had to survive 5 overs in order to secure the victory, given they were already ahead of the 5 over target score? They would have come out in defensive mode, and the crowd would have been treated to 3 overs of blocking and nurdled singles - the antithesis of T20. Even losing a wicket or two would probably not have effected the target score too much to worry them. I say it's 20 overs or it's a draw.

  • Peter on December 14, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    Let's just play a super over & get done with it. This is the destination this is going, isn't it?

  • david on December 14, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    on watching it in the uk i was always under the impression the 6 overs had to be bowled to constitute a game, then 5 was mentioned then 1 ball whats that all about.

  • Sameer on December 14, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    The REVISED TARGET is not the point. The point is the minimum overs. A match can end before the (side batting second's) minimum 5 overs only if A)batting side is all-out or B)batting side scores more than the other side's score. A revised target can be used to DETERMINE THE RESULT only once the last ball of the fifth over is bowled. Till then, not enough cricket has been (deemed to be) played to allow using the intermediate (i.e. current) innings score to project the final outcome. Till then, both sides have the opportunity to achieve result A or result B above. Perth Scorchers were denied the (legitimate, though unlikely) opportunity to achieve result A.

  • Pelham on December 14, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Further to earlier comments, please see the footnote to the scorecard linked from this article. This confirms three things: (1) the target to win over 5 overs was indeed 20; (2) the extra ball was unncessary and it has been removed from the official score; (3) the victory margin has been calculated on the basis of the 6 to win, which is correctly identified as relating to the par score after 2 overs.

  • Christopher on December 14, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    I'm speechless...13 balls constitutes an innings-apparently-and grown men are wasting energy debating it. I'd rather watch paint dry or grass grow. It's not D/L at fault. Whatever happened on this field, it wasn't cricket, as 20/20 so rarely is.

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