Monday 29 May 2017 News Updated at 14:56 IST
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D/L method skewed in favour of chasing side - Deccan Herald
D/L method skewed in favour of chasing side
Madhu Jawali, DH News Service, Bengaluru,
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 Muttiah Muralitharan
It was sort of deja vu for Sunrisers Hyderabad, and a painful one at that. Two seasons ago, Sunrisers were up against a similar challenge that they encountered on Wednesday night (or Thursday morning) in the rain-hit IPL-10 Eliminator versus Kolkata Knight Riders, and had ended up at the wrong end of the result then too.

Sunrisers’ total of 128 for seven on Wednesday may not have been par for the course but given the sluggish nature of the pitch here and the bowling resources of David Warner’s side, it was going to be anything but a stroll in the park for the Knight Riders. But the incessant rain ensured that KKR’s target was revised to 48 from six overs according to D/L method, significantly reducing the difficulty of the task.

KKR went after the Sunrisers’ attack from the word go and their logic was simple. With six specialist batsmen in their ranks, one of them was definitely going to click and that was good enough to seal the match in their favour given the small size of their target. After some anxious moments in the first seven balls when they lost three wickets and hit a six and a four, Gautam Gambhir batted them home with a 19-ball unbeaten 32.

"It wasn't a big target,” said KKR paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile when asked if his batsmen were in unnecessary hurry. "On that wicket you'll never really know. We thought, you got 10 wickets in hand, six overs. There's no point trying to work yourself in. Might as well go hard. If all the top-six batsmen go hard and one of them comes off, then you win the game. So I thought we batted well. Obviously the run out (of Yusuf Pathan) was a bit silly but everything else was fine,” he remarked.

In 2015 at their home turf, Sunrisers had met the same fate after their original total of 135/3 in 11 overs was reworked to 83 from six for the chasing side Royal Challengers Bangalore. With three of the best T20 batsmen of that period -- Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers -- in their ranks, RCB romped home in style with Kohli (44 off 19 balls) and Gayle (35 off 10) bludgeoning the home bowling.

Again, SRH would have had a better chance of defending their target if the chase were to be of same number of overs (11 overs) but lesser the length of chase, greater the room to take risks.

There always have been question marks over the D/L method -- originally designed for ODIs -- as it appears to favour the chasing side but it becomes even more skewed towards a side batting second in T20s as is evident from these two instances.

"(A total of) 130, I thought, was par,” said SRH bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan when asked if he was happy with the conditions his team had to bowl in. "Across 20 overs, we had a chance of defending it. With the wetness, the ball skids a lot. The surface was up and down. But this is part and parcel of the game. They won the toss, so they deserved to win.

"The wicket (at Chinnasw­amy) is not great to play shots... We were thinking of 140 and finished 10 short because they bowled well. We had the bowling to defend it across 20 overs. Had we taken two or three wickets early, they would have struggled. We’ve seen how teams have defended 130-135 here. Unfortunate the rain came, we can’t complain,” he reasoned.