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Summer Maths Puzzles - Monday 5 August - Over and Out

Over and Out

Today, the parents decided to take the children to see a cricket match.  They explained that in cricket, a bowling average is defined to be:

Number of runs conceded   /   Number of wickets taken

Obviously, the lower the score the better the bowler.

The match was between local teams the Aardvarks and the Bisons.  Each side played two innings, one before and one after tea.  Alice is the star bowler for the Aardvarks and Bianca is the star bowler for the Bisons.

  • Before tea Alice got 5 wickets for 10 runs and then in the next innings Bianca got 8 wickets for 50 runs. 
  • After tea Alice got 10 wickets for 150 runs and then Bianca got 2 wickets for 50 runs.
  1. Who got the better bowling average before tea?
  2. Who got the better bowling average after tea?
  3. Who got the better bowling average across the whole match?
  4. Who is the better bowler?


Entry to this puzzle is now closed. Congratulations to the following for some great answers:


  • Ali Raad
  • Veera
  • Evgeny Mirkes
  • Akshay Sant
  • Krishi
  • Niall and Jenny
  • Sarisha
  • Charlotte
  • Jan and Emily
  • Fin
  • Soham Sud 
  • Meg North
  • Ben Katz

Special congratulations to Alihan Huyuk who was the first person to identify that this problem is an example of Simpson's paradox.


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University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons