Definitive Guides

How Net Run Rate is calculated in Cricket?

This is a definitive guide on what is NRR in Points Table and how it is calculated in tournaments like IPL and World Cup Cricket.

Every cricket fan must have come across the term ‘NRR’ in the point tables in World Cups or one of the domestic leagues like IPL or PSL.

So, What is NRR?

NRR is the shorted form of Net Run Rate.

In simpler terms, NRR in a match is the difference between the run-rates of two teams.

In other words, the difference between the average scores scored by both the teams in a match, in accordance with the overs they face.

Tip: In a cricket match, normally the winning team always end up with a positive NRR and the losing team, a negative NRR.

Having said that, in a tied match, both teams have a zero NRR.

NRR is also popularly used by ICC to rank teams in the tournaments when two or more teams end up with same points.

In a tournament like World Cup, IPL or any multi-teams event, Net Run Rate (NRR) of a team is the difference between the average runs they scored in the tournament, minus the average of runs they concede throughout the tournament.

This is how NRR is used in Cricket World Cup 2019!

Also in some cases, the calculation of NRR gets complicated, like

  • when the teams get bowled out (either or both).
  • or, during an interrupted cricket match with a D/L calculated-result.

Let’s look into all of them, one by one with examples.


How is NRR calculated in a cricket match?

When teams played out their 50 Overs each?

For a normal match, where both the teams complete their quota of 50 Overs each, and the team batting first wins, the formula to calculate NRR is nothing but the difference of their run-rates.

Say, for instance, in the Match No. 26 of the World Cup 2019, in which both the teams – Australia and Bangladesh, played out all 100 overs, with the score-card reading:

Australia – 381/5 (50 Overs)

Bangladesh – 333/8 (50 Overs)

The winning team – Australia’s NRR will be calculated by the formula of = Run Rate of Australia – Run Rate of Bangladesh

i.e. 381/50 – 333/50 = 7.62 – 6.66 = 0.96

Thereby, Australia’s NRR in the game is +0.96 and for Bangladesh, -0.96.

Easy, right? Wait for it!


When the team that batted second wins?

In this case of the team batting second successfully chasing down the target under 50 overs quota, the calculation is almost the same as the first case.

Take the example of West Indies vs Bangladesh game of World Cup 2019, in which WI bats first and Bangladesh chases down the target in just 41.3 overs.

The scores read:

WI – 321/8 (50 Overs)

BAN – 322/3 (41.3 Overs)

Bangladesh NRR = Run Rate of Bangladesh – Run Rate of West Indies

i.e. 322/41.3 – 321/50 = 7.75 – 6.42 = 1.33

And, WI’s NRR will be = -1.33


When one team gets bowled out under 50 Overs?

Here is a different one!

One thing that has to be kept in mind in the case of one team getting bowled out is:

When a team gets bowled out under their 50 Overs, either while batting first or second, the Overs they faced should be calculated as 50, instead of the overs they actually faced, in the calculation of NRR.

For instance, consider an example of Team 1 getting all out with a score of 200 in 35 Overs and the Team 2 chases down the score in 40 Overs.

So, if the scores read:

Team 1 – 200/10 (35 Overs)

Team 2 – 201/4 (40 Overs)

the NRR calculation is done as:

NRR of Team 2 = 201/40 – 200/50(instead of 35)

i.e. 5.03 – 4 = 1.03 for Team 2 and -1.03 for Team 1.

If you look closely, even though Team 2 scored slower than the Team 1, the Team 2 will have the edge to have a positive NRR, as they have picked all the 10 wickets of the other team.


This calculation works same, even if the chasing team gets bowled out under 50 overs.

Say, if the score card reads:

Team 1 – 300/5 (50 Overs)

Team 2 – 200/10 (40 Overs)

NRR of the winning team, i.e., Team 1 NRR = 300/50 – 200/50 = 6 – 4 = +2.00

And, Team 2 NRR = -2.00


When both teams get bowled out under 50 overs?

In this case, there are only two possibilities that either the team that batted first would have won or it’s a tied game.

As the tied game always gives a Zero NRR for both the teams, the other case will have the following formula:

Team 1 – 200/10 (40 Overs)

Team 2 – 120/10 (35.7 Overs)

Team 1 NRR – 200/50 – 120/50 = 4 – 2.4 = +1.60

Team 2 NRR = -1.60


When there is a rain interruption in the match?

Rains in World Cup Finals

Interrupted cricket matches, in which the D/L method is used for revised targets and overs, the reduced overs and target are used to calculate NRR.

Let’s take an example to understand things here:

Assume the scores are:

Team A – 250/8 (50 Overs)

Rain interrupted when Team B’s score was 150/0 at 25 Overs.

Reduced Target 190 in 40 Overs

Team B finished at – 190/2 in 32 Overs.

Now while calculating the NRR, revise the Team A score to 189 in 40 Overs.

Now NRR of Team B be = 190/32 – 189/40 = 5.94 – 4.73 = +1.21

And, Team A NRR = -1.21


The abandoned games with D/L result will also follow the above calculation model – The D/L revised target will be taken into consideration.


How to calculate a team’s NRR in a cricket series?

One common misunderstanding while calculating a team’s NRR in a cricket series is, people tend to consider the average of the team’s NRR in all matches of the tournament as the NRR of a team.

That’s wrong.

As mentioned in the starting of this guide, NRR in a tournament, like World Cup or IPL, should be the weighted average of the runs scored by the team against the weighted average of runs they conceded in all the matches.

It is also very important to consider the above mentioned scenario-based calculation of averages, whenever required.

Let me explained it with an example once again…

Say a team plays 3 matches in a tournament with the below scores.


Match – 1 Scorecard

Team A – 250/4 (50 Overs)

Team B – 200/8 (50 Overs)

Match – 2 Scorecard

Team A – 350/ 8 (50 Overs)

Team C – 150 All-out (25.5 Overs)

Match – 3 Scorecard

Team D – 250/ 9 (50 Overs)

D/L Revised Target – 201 in 40 Overs

Team A – 201/5 (35 Overs)

Now, here’s the NRR calculation of Team A in the tournament:

Average of Runs Taken = 250+350+201 = 801

Overs taken to score = 50+50+35 = 135

Average of Runs conceded = 200+150+200 = 550

Overs bowled = 50+50+40 = 140

Team A NRR in the Tournament = 801/135 – 550/140 = 5.93 – 3.93 = +2


Wrapping things up!

Though NRR is a useful metric as a tie-breaker among teams with the same number of points after in a group stage of a tournament, it has its own problems.

Not taking into account of the wickets taken by a team, unless they bowl out the other team, is one demerit of NRR calculation, for an instance.

Still, few updates and write-ups can do things for NRR in future, is what I believe.

Well, thanks for reading. Hopefully, this article was of some help for you to understand NRR!

You can reach the author of this article at his Twitter handle!

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