Debate over how best to adjudicate and abridge rain-affected Twenty20 cricket matches has been reignited after a sodden Sydney Big Bash League derby.
- The Sixers were all out for 76 before the Thunder won the match by four runs after reaching 2-28 in 5.3 overs
- It is the fifth time the Duckworth-Lewis method has been used to decide a BBL match this season
- Sydney Thunder captain Callum Ferguson questioned if five overs were enough to decide a match
Sydney Sixers’ innings was twice halted by showers on Saturday night, when they were skittled for 76 on a wet wicket at Olympic Park.
Sydney Thunder, having reached 2-28 from 5.3 overs when rain ended the chase, were declared four-run winners via the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.
A minimum of five overs per innings is required to constitute a T20 match.
The fickle nature of that margin and a spicy two-paced pitch, which prompted Ricky Ponting to suggest “there might have to be some questions asked about this wicket”, dominated post-match discussion.
Sixers skipper Moises Henriques, who asked umpires whether the pitch was ready after one mid-game downpour, and Thunder counterpart Callum Ferguson agreed there should be a better way to deal with similar contests.
“It is a lottery at times and we understand what it’s like to be on the other side of it,” Ferguson told reporters, referring to the Thunder’s 16-run, DLS loss to the Heat in January.
“You’ve just got to make sure that Duckworth-Lewis is as fair as possible … I just wonder whether five overs is enough time to really give you a genuine result. Maybe that’s something we could look at, whether it needs to be 10.
“It’s frustrating. I’m not exactly sure what the answer is.”
Henriques fumes after dismissal between rain delays
Henriques floated the idea of pre-emptively shortening wet-weather T20 games.
“Rather than trying to get the maximum number of overs, if you want a more even contest then try to get both teams batting in the same conditions,” he said.
“If we both have to bat for 17, 18 overs right from the start … or 13 or 14.
“But with nights like this you can’t predict when the rain comes as well, so that’s going to make it difficult.”
Henriques fumed on Saturday night after his dismissal to a delivery that spat off the pitch violently, which came between rain delays as his team suffered a horrible collapse of 6-25.
“Just before we went back out, I did ask the umpires if the wicket was good enough to be batting,” Henriques said.
“They seemed to think it was. Obviously, I offered my opinion after I got out.
“We weren’t dealt the best hand there but if we managed to get to 90 or 95 off our 16 overs then it could have been a different result.”
Henriques said it was “up for debate” whether officials should have delayed the start of the match, recognising the state of the pitch after the covers had been on for the better part of three consecutive days.