Big Bash League 2012-13

BBL blushes after controversial Stars win

Alex Malcolm

December 13, 2012

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Rob Quiney protects his bat as he runs through heavy rain, Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Stars, Big Bash League, Perth, December 12, 2012
Melbourne Stars were controversially declared winners by D/L method after batting for only 2.1 overs © Getty Images
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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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   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.

Posted by zenboomerang 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...

Posted by Pelham_Barton 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.

Posted by vj_gooner 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!

Posted by drinks.break 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.

Posted by Chris_P 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?

Posted by bumsonseats 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.

Posted by Sampra2457 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.

Posted by Pelham_Barton 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.

Posted by hyclass 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.

Posted by Pelham_Barton on (December 14, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

@Clan_McLachlan on (December 14 2012, 11:40 AM GMT): As two of us have already noted, the target of 6 runs off 5 overs cannot have been correctly calculated - it should have been around 20, which seems quite reasonable to me at something over a quarter of the runs in a quarter of the overs. Apart from taking steps to minimise the possibility of errors in calculations, I have seen nothing anywhere that is clearly better than D/L, although I have some sympathy with the view that the minimum number of overs for a result should be more than 5 - possbly 8 or 10.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan on (December 14, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

More proof that the DL having been designed with data from ODI's does not work in T20's.

That said, the right team on the night won it.

Posted by CheeseShop on (December 14, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Is it fair to suggest that they had to come on to the field again, otherwise the match would have been voided ? Yes, they were ahead of the revised target score when the decision was made to come back on but without physically coming back onto the field the match situation wouldn't have altered from the time they went off - i.e. there had not been sufficient play to deem the match valid. Bowling that extra ball is what cemented the validity of the match and the result.

Not suggesting it's right or wrong or good or bad.......just putting an idea out there.

Posted by pratit on (December 14, 2012, 8:41 GMT)

The only thing that made no sense was the decision to play a single ball after the break

Posted by Pelham_Barton on (December 14, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

As "Sir_Freddie_Flintoff" has noted, the target, if calculated correctly, should have been around 20 to win off the five overs available. Since Stars were already ahead of this target, the error in calculation and/or presentation of the target did not affect the result. Simple fact to remember about D/L: wickets after an interruption are always irrelevant unless there is a further interruption and further revised target.

Posted by megaphoniumfanfare on (December 14, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

People are misunderstanding. Everyone's going 'the par score was 6 but what if they'd lost wickets in those 3 overs, taking the par score above what they were on?'

But that's not the point. It wasn't about par score anymore. Par score is for the hypothetical 'if it happens to rain now and stop the match.'

This was REVISED TARGET, not par score. It was as if it had rained between innings, reducing the match to 5 overs, so the revised target set off 5 overs was 6 (fair enough, they're still miles ahead of the RRR even if on 6 after 5 overs.)

It just happened that the rain came a couple of overs into the innings after some runs had already been scored.

But it was now a 5 over match, and like with any rain-shortened match, a revised target must be set off that many overs. The revised target was 6, which had already been reached.

The only part that baffles me is why they had to play that ball. The match should simply have been considered over and home everyone should have gone.

Posted by dantheman96 on (December 14, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

I think it makes sense - the innings was revised to 5 overs, and the Stars were past their target already. Once a team passes the target, thats it, game over. The target wouldn't have changed if they had lost wickets, because when a target is revised, it doesn't change - the one that changes is the DL target, which is the runs needed after each ball to win if it rains and the game cannot finish. This was a different situation. So the right result was reached.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

The Scorchers were so bad they broke Duckworth Lewis...

Posted by Chris_P on (December 14, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

Blush? That's got to be the understatement of 2012, surely!

Posted by mukkit on (December 14, 2012, 1:37 GMT)

Here's the problem with the decision. What if the chasing team were 9 wickets down for 7 runs, would that have had them ahead after 5 overs? I doubt it. The fact that that the Stars had exceeded 6 runs after two overs, doesn't meant that the Stars might not have lost a stack of wickets through the 3rd to 5th overs, which surely would have changed the D-L target applicable for the end of the 5th over. Obviously no great travesty here, but if applied in a closer game, this would be a concern.

Posted by   on (December 14, 2012, 1:13 GMT)

I still don't understand it..

Posted by Rowayton on (December 14, 2012, 0:18 GMT)

I find this result mystifying. For a result to have been achieved before the 5 overs were up the side batting second should have scored the whole 70. You can't say they just have to reach the D/L target because that involves wickets as well. If they had batted the full five overs and the side batting second lost six wickets in the next sixteen balls (and I note that a side in a List A game in Sri Lanka lost 6 in 8 balls yesterday); then the side batting first would probably have won on D/L - 6 for 33, say, after five overs against 69 is a losing score. Game should have been a no result.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

I agree with the rule, there should have been 5 overs played regardless if they were ahead. The lead would only count once 5 overs have been bowled. For argument sake say a team were in the lead after 2 overs, but suddenly lost most of their wickets and fell behind the requirement at 5 overs, the other team could still have won.

Posted by katandthat3 on (December 13, 2012, 20:24 GMT)

Scorchers were totally outplayed but I still think the final minutes of the game stunk. We have a marketing consultant explaining the rules. I probably have this wrong but if the 2nd innings was played to at least 5 overs like it should have, that would have given Perth a chance to take wickets (on a wetter pitch) and change the D/L score. Unlikely perhaps but at the start of play no one probably thought Malinga would take 6/7 either. The only other gripe I have is why are we trying to make T20 like Baseball, those stupid caps and wearing them backwards - what the... Don't over do it fellas. Lets not jump the shark here. Otherwise it's been pretty good, it is entertainment. Glad the Test is on too.

Posted by Mitcher on (December 13, 2012, 20:20 GMT)

My head hurts... Does all seem a bit ridiculous. Though I think the final sentence is a bit high on paranoia and low on substance/evidence/explanation.

Posted by   on (December 13, 2012, 18:04 GMT)

This sort of confuses me.. How had the game decided in 2.1 overs in the second innings. As far as I know, the D/L target is revised with a fall of wicket, so wouldnt it be that had the Stars lost, lets say, 8 wickets at the end of it they might have lost it. The revised target would have then shooted up over 29(just a guess). If the law asks a minimum overs to b played b4 the result then how is this possible. In the end the chances of loosing so many wickets was near uncertain.but in this game nothing is for granted unless its done. A test would b a draw even if the team batting 2nd were short by a run with all wickets in hand.. Maybe someone needs to clarify me..

Posted by mandi on (December 13, 2012, 17:57 GMT)

cricket australia fails big time in managing bbl,this incident proved.

Posted by 200ondebut on (December 13, 2012, 17:43 GMT)

They are like a bunch of gallahs running around with their daks round their ankles!

Posted by gallarate on (December 13, 2012, 17:38 GMT)

Had the Stars continued batting the required 5 overs and had lost say 3-4 wickets for no runs, the Scorchers would have won the match under the DL revised target ! Rule needs to be clarified. Warne Stars favouritism, seems to me.

Posted by AJ_Tiger86 on (December 13, 2012, 17:08 GMT)

There's a mistake in this article too. Stars' revised target from 5 overs was NOT 6 runs, it was actually 20 runs. Anyway, they were clearly ahead of that at 29/0. My question is, why did they need to bowl that 1 ball at all? Why didn't they declare Stars winners WITHOUT bowling that ball? They had already achieved their target, so that extra ball should never have been bowled.

Posted by Yevghenny on (December 13, 2012, 15:35 GMT)

The Duckworth Lewis Method, as confusing as it is, works for One Day Internationals, but is not fit for purpose in t20's. How many more times will incidents like these happen until people in charge get together and re-think rain affected t20 matches? At the moment when rain is in the air, captains always choose to field first, knowing that D/L will make their job batting a hell of a lot easier. On this occasion, D/L doesn't seem so extreme, they are 29/0 chasing 62 with 18 overs remaining. But it does seem pointless on occasions like these that you have to bowl a certain amount when the D/L throws up such a meagre total

Posted by Bilal81998 on (December 13, 2012, 15:26 GMT)

Really awkward situation! should have been a no result for me.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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