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Tough rain equations for T20

Yusuf Pathan and Glenn Maxwell’s sixer showdown is a sell-out but there’s a party-pooper lurking in the clouds, threatening a Duckworth-Lewis damper or, worse, a double washout.

Around 70,000 people who hold tickets to the biggest match of the season at the Eden Gardens — and the lakhs of fans who plan to catch the action on TV — would be praying for rain to stay away when the Kolkata Knight Riders take on Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday. But the odds are stacked against T20 on Tuesday.

Metro tracks the rain parameters and the cricketing possibilities ahead of KKR’s potential single-window entry into the IPL-7 final.

What caused the rainfall on Monday?

A marked low-pressure area in the southern Odisha coast that has resulted in moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal and clouding over the city. It rained 7.6mm on Sunday and 30mm by 5.30pm on Monday.

Is more rain on the radar?

Unfortunately for cricket fans, yes. Satellite pictures and wind charts suggest that the well-marked low-pressure area would advance towards Calcutta over the next 24 hours.

The system is likely to weaken as it progresses, but being closer to the city means rainfall is likely to continue on Tuesday and Wednesday. Brace for the stuffy feeling because relative humidity is already high. It ranged between 77 and 95 per cent on Tuesday.

Will it rain during the match (scheduled to start at 8pm)?

The weather office can’t say with any degree of certainty at what time it would rain, if at all.

How fast can the Eden Gardens drain out rainwater?

Between 20mm and 30mm of water per hour is drained out into the brick sewer running under AJC Bose Road, according to the civic body. If the ground gets a shower heavier than that, there’s little the ground staff can do.

“The area around the Eden Gardens is the highest part of the city, slanting from west to east,” a senior official of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation said.

The Met department expects moderate rainfall — between 7.6mm and 35.5mm — during the entire day. If the meteorologists have got it right, Eden’s drainage capacity shouldn’t be a problem.

Even so, the timing of rain holds the key. Ideally, nobody would want a drop from 6pm to 11.30pm. The good news is that the Cricket Association of Bengal is ready for battle, armed with four Super Soppers and 100 ground staff.

Is there a reserve day if Tuesday is a washout?

In the event of a washout, the match will be played from 4pm on Wednesday. A double washout would mean victory for Kings XI Punjab without a ball being bowled because they are ahead of KKR on points in the league standings.

Even then, Gauti’s boys would get another chance to make the final by winning the second qualifier in Mumbai on Friday against the winner of the match between the teams placed third and fourth.

What is the minimum number of overs for a match?

As soon as the team batting second bats for five overs, a result is possible under the Duckworth-Lewis system if play is called off thereafter. If the start of the match is delayed, there must be time for at least a five-overs-a-side game, which would take about an hour.