Cricket is summer

Summer is the time when there are changes in seasons of sport, and the biggest change is that in tv guide which suddenly fills up with cricket (even more so since this years Ashes are in Australia). Although i’m not the most avid cricket supporter I do LOVE to have a few beers and watch the cricket (and play some backyard cricket) and I think this year might be a good year to get down the the MCG for the boxing day test (test 3 in the best of 5 series).

Now this is all good and well but how does any of this relate to my science blog???

Well, while I was watching the ODI (one day international) cricket match of Australia vs Sri Lanka which was delayed and shortened due to the weather, the commentators keep mentioning this Lewis-Duckworth method.

Just like the weather is modelled on past events to predict how the weather will be over a future period of time, the same has to be done to a game of cricket that has been affected by unseen circumstances (ie bad weather). The Lewis-Duckworth method was created by two English statisticians, Tony Lewis and Frank Ducksworth and attempts to predict what would have happened had the game come to its natural conclusion. The theory is based on historical results and the very very close correlation between the availability of wickets in hand and balls remaining (what the LD method calls ‘resources’) and the teams final score. Each year a new  DL table is produced.As a teams  combined ‘resources’ decreases, so does their chance of making the set runs needed. So, if for example the first team in batted its full 50 overs but the other team only batted 31, based on how many runs they had made and its resources left, it could be approximately predicted what that team would have made and the decision of who would have won the game comes down to comparing stats. Although this system cant take into account the unpredictability in sport it is the most accurate method created and has been in place in all international ODI  games since 2001.

For a real life example of this you only need to look back as far as the 2010 ICC world 20-20 championship. There was a group stage match between England and West Indies, where England scored 191/5 in 20 overs. Rain then interrupted the game after 2.2 overs of the West Indies bat when they were 30/0. So according to the DL  method the West Indies were set a target of 60 runs in 6 overs, which they attained with one ball to spare giving them the win even though they had only batted just 6 overs.

This is just one of the many examples of where maths is apart of life,  I for one can remember doing maths and not having anything real to relate it to, so if it can be used to engage people in the topic, I think thats a win for maths teachers everywhere.

What other examples do you have for me???