Sport and Math have never been the best of friends in the past but there are times when they merge, giving the fans a hard time.

Yes, I am talking about the various calculations involved in cricket like the Duckworth-Lewis method that is used in rain curtailed games and the Net Run Rate that is calculated to solve a tie on points.

With the format of the current T20 World Cup giving a chance to just two teams from each group, there is a high possibility that there may be a couple or more than a couple of teams level on points.

This is where the Net Run Rate (NRR) comes into action. It is the only viable way at the moment in cricket to separate two teams that are level on points come the end of the groups stage.

It is a value of measurement that uses the run rates of every game for a particular team in the tournament and is used to separate two teams who have acquired the same number of points in the table.

As its name suggests, NRR is the difference between the run rates at which a particular team scores their runs all throughout the tournament and the run rates at which they concede runs in all the games in the tournament.

Though it seems hard to understand, it is a simple notation of the difference in run rates at which a team scores their runs and concedes their runs.

NRR = Average runs scored per over by the team throughout the tournament – Average runs scored per over by the opposing teams against it.

Or to put it into proper terms:

NRR = ((Total runs scored by team)/(Total overs played by team)) – ((Total runs scored against team)/(Total overs played against team))

Total runs -> Total score a batting team has scored against the bowling team in the whole tournament

Total overs -> Total overs played by the batting team and bowled by the bowling team.

Even in the calculation of the NRR, there are certain problems that arise from the number of overs to be taken into consideration when the target is chased in fewer overs and when the team is all out in less than 20 overs. Here are certain rules that will assist the calculation of the NRR:

If a team is all out within the stipulated 20 overs, then the overs considered for NRR calculation is 20 itself and not the actual overs played.

If a team chases down a target before 20 overs, then the actual overs is considered for NRR calculation.

This calculation only pertains to games that saw a result in the stipulated over. Where a match is abandoned, but a result is achieved under Duckworth/Lewis, for net run rate purposes Team 1 will be accredited with Team 2’s Par Score on abandonment off the same number of overs faced by Team 2.

Here is how NRR is calculated when the playing conditions are not covered above.

Section 21.10.5 of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Playing Conditions covers this situation

In circumstances where a match (and the points for such match) is awarded to a team as a result of the other team’s refusal to play, either by the umpires in accordance with Law 21.3 (a)(ii) or in accordance with the provisions of the relevant event agreements signed by the participating teams, the net run rate of the defaulting team shall be affected in that the full 50 overs of the defaulting team’s innings in such forfeited match shall be taken into account in calculating the average runs per over of the defaulting team over the course of the relevant portion of the competition. For the avoidance of doubt, the runs scored and overs bowled in such forfeited match will not be taken into account when calculating the net run rate of the team to whom the match was awarded.

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