x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Duckworth flays Collingwood for criticism

The co-creator of the method to calculate targets in rain-curtailed matches says only the England captain has a problem but admits a minimum duration is required in Twenty20s.

Frank Duckworth, the co-creator of the Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method for settling rain-affected matches, has leapt to its defence after it came under fire from England captain Paul Collingwood. But he said the International Cricket Council (ICC) needs to look at the minimum length of an innings required to constitute a Twenty20 match. Collingwood was left fuming after England suffered an eight-wicket loss to the West Indies in the visitors' tournament opener here on Monday, despite scoring 191 - a challenging Twenty20 total. Rain left the West Indies with a target of 60 from six overs but came back early when Ireland were chasing down England's low score of 120 yesterday. Only 3.3 overs were possible allowing England to split points with Ireland and sneak in to the Super Eights without a win to their credit. At present, five overs of the second innings of a Twenty20 international must be played in order for a winner to be declared. and Duckworth told The Wisden Cricketer: "The ICC ought to look into whether five overs for a valid match is appropriate because you can get this apparent distortion." Collingwood, who saw England bow out of last year's World Twenty20 to the West Indies in similar fashion at the Oval, said after Monday's match: "I don't know what equation you should have but you shouldn't have that one. "We've played a near perfect game but we've lost." Despite playing a not-so-perfect game last night, he admitted that rain helped but tried to defend the low score by saying: "I guess the rain's come around today at a time that's got us through to the next stage. "We were pretty confident once we got up to 120. I think it was a 130 wicket and you'd have been really happy with that; 140 and you'd have been really confident of protecting that score. "It could have got quite close today. There was certainly a bit of turn out there and it was seaming around as well and a lot different to the wicket we played on the other day." But Duckworth, who devised the system with fellow statistician Tony Lewis, countered by saying: "While Paul Collingwood may have been angry at Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, he might have been angry at (England bowlers) Messrs (Tim) Bresnan, (Graeme) Swann and co who added to the four wides that they bowled before the rain by adding four more wides. So, the West Indies target wasn't just 60, it was effectively 52." Duckworth, speaking before the England-Ireland match, said it was only England who had complained about the use of the D/L method in Twenty20. "Since Twenty20 came into the world in 2002, there have been about 70 cases of T20 with a D/L revised target or result. "And there's only been two moments of dissent, both by Paul Collingwood or ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) people, both following England not doing very well against the West Indies. "The other 68 matches - like the one that occurred earlier (on Monday, between Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe), nobody queried that and in fact the result went the other way. The side batting first (Sri Lanka) won." The Ireland captain, William Porterfield, who was denied the prized chance to advance ahead in the competition, felt 120 was a vulnerable target but took the disappointment in his stride. "If the rain hadn't come we were pretty confident chasing down 120 that we could knock it off. But it's just one of those things," Porterfield said. "The attitude we took out into the field there was brilliant. "We just want to get into Super Eights and beat the big teams in there. We came with our sights set on that, and showed glimpses in our performance that we could do that." Duckworth and Lewis updated their system in October after examining data that Duckworth insisted proved the method did not require wholesale revision for Twenty20 matches. "As a result of that analysis we did decide that a few changes were needed but these were only slight adjustments to the parameter of the formula. "The important thing that we did discover was that the scoring patterns in Twenty20 fit in perfectly with our original formula derived largely from 50-over games." Meanwhile, many fans were critical of the decision to stage matches in Guyana during the 'rainy season' and voiced their displeasure on the ICC. However, it was the West Indies Cricket Board, based on applications from its member countries, who selected the venues for the World Twenty20 and not the ICC. * Agencies