The order in which the teams bat is determined by a coin toss. The
captain of the side winning the toss may elect to bat or field first.
All eleven players of the fielding team go out to field, two players of
the batting team go out to bat. The remainder of the batting team wait
off the field for their turn to bat. Each batsman wears protective gear
and carries a cricket bat.
The game progresses by the bowling of balls. The sequence
of events which constitutes a ball follows:
The fielding team disperses around the field, to positions designed to
stop runs being scored or to get batsmen out. One fielder is the
bowler. He takes the ball and stands some distance behind one of the
wickets (i.e. away from the pitch). Another fielder is the
wicket-keeper, who wears a pair of webbed gloves designed for catching
the ball and protective pads covering the shins. He squats behind the
opposite wicket. The rest of the fielders have no special equipment -
gloves to assist catching the ball are not allowed to anyone but the
One batsman stands behind each popping crease, near a wicket. The
batsman farthest from the bowler is the striker, the other is the
non-striker. The striker stands before his wicket, on or near the
popping crease, in the batting stance. For a right-handed batsman, the
feet are positioned like this:
The batsman stands with his bat held down in front of the
wicket, ready to hit the ball, which will be
bowled from the other end of the pitch. The batsman usually rests the
lower end of the bat on the pitch and then taps the bat on the pitch
a few times as ``warm-up'' backswings.
The non-striker simply stands behind the other popping crease, waiting
to run if necessary. The bowler takes a run-up from behind the
non-striker's wicket. He passes to one side of the wicket, and when he
reaches the non-striker's popping crease he bowls the ball towards the
striker, usually bouncing the ball once on the pitch before it reaches
the striker. (The bowling action will be described in detail later.)
The striker may then attempt to hit the ball with his bat. If he misses
it, the wicket-keeper will catch it and the ball is completed. If he
hits it, the two batsmen may score runs (described later). When the runs
are completed, the ball is also considered completed. The ball is
considered to be in play from the moment the bowler begins his run-up.
It remains in play until any of several conditions occur (two common
ones were just described), after which it is called dead. The ball is
also dead if it lodges in the striker's clothing or equipment. Once the
ball is dead, it is returned to the bowler for the next delivery
(another name for the bowling of a ball). Between deliveries, the
batsmen may leave their creases and confer with each other.
When one bowler has completed six balls, that constitutes an over. A
different member of the fielding team is given the ball and bowls the
next over - from the opposite end of the pitch. The batsmen do not
change ends, so the roles of striker and non-striker swap after each
over. Any member of the fielding team may bowl, so long as no bowler
delivers two consecutive overs. Once a bowler begins an over, he must
complete it, unless injured or suspended during the over.
Another possibility during a ball is that a batsman may get out. There
are ten different methods of being out - these will be described in
detail later. If a batsman gets out, the ball is dead immediately, so it
is impossible to get the other batsman out during the same ball. The out
batsman leaves the field, and the next batsman in the team comes in to
bat. The not out batsman remains on the field. The order in which
batsmen come in to bat in an innings is not fixed. The batting order may
be changed by the team captain at any time, and the order does not have
to be the same in each innings.
When ten batsmen are out, no new batsmen remain to come in, and the
innings is completed with one batsman remaining not out. The roles of
the teams then swap, and the team which fielded first gets to bat
through an innings. When both teams have completed the agreed number of
innings, the team which has scored the most runs wins.
Whenever a batsman hits the ball during a delivery, he may score runs. A
run is scored by the batsmen running between the popping creases,
crossing over midway between them. When they both reach the opposite
crease, one run is scored, and they may return for another run
immediately. The fielding side attempts to prevent runs being scored by
threatening to run out one of the batsmen.
If the batsmen are attempting to take runs, and a fielder gathers the
ball and hits a wicket with it, dislodging one or both bails, while no
batsman is behind that wicket's popping crease, then the nearest batsman
is run out. Specifically, the batsman must have some part of his body or
his bat (provided he is holding it) grounded behind (not on) the crease.
The batsmen carry their bats as they run, and turning for another run is
accomplished by touching the ground beyond the crease with an
outstretched bat. The batsmen do not have to run at any time they think
it is unsafe - it is common to hit the ball and elect not to run.
If the batsmen run one or three (or five! rare, but possible), then they
have swapped ends and their striker/non-striker roles are reversed for
the next ball (unless the ball just completed is the end of an over).
In addition to scoring runs like this, if a batsman hits the ball so
that it reaches the boundary fence, he scores four runs, without needing
to actually run them. If a batsman hits the ball over the boundary on
the full, he scores six runs. If a four or six is scored, the ball is
completed and the batsmen cannot be run out. If a spectator encroaches
on to the field and touches the ball, it is considered to have reached
the boundary. If a fielder gathers the ball, but then steps outside or
touches the boundary while still holding the ball, four runs are scored.
If a fielder catches the ball on the full and, either during or
immediately after the catch, steps outside or touches the boundary, six
runs are scored.
The batsmen usually stop taking runs when a fielder is throwing the ball
back towards the pitch area. If no fielder near the pitch gathers the
ball and it continues into the outfield again, the batsmen may take more
runs. Such runs are called overthrows. If the ball reaches the
boundary on an overthrow, four runs are scored in addition to the runs
taken before the overthrow occurred.
Runs scored by a batsman, including all overthrows, are credited to him
by the scorer. The number of runs scored by each batsman is an important
If, while running multiple runs, a batsman does not touch the ground
beyond the popping crease before he returns for the next run, then the
umpire at that end will signal one short, and the number of runs
scored is reduced by one.
Here is a full list of the ten different ways of getting out. But first,
a few necessary definitions:
The wicket is said to be broken if one or both of the bails have been
dislodged and fallen to the ground. If the bails have fallen off for
any reason and the ball is still in play, then breaking the wicket must
be accomplished by pulling a stump completely out of the ground. If the
wicket needs to be broken like this with the ball, the uprooting of the
stump must be done with the ball in contact with the stump.
The field is notionally split into two halves, along a line down the
centre of the pitch. The half of the field in front of the striker is
called the off side, the half behind is called the leg side, or
sometimes the on side. Thus, standing at the bowler's wicket and
looking towards a right-handed striker's wicket, the off side is to the
left and the leg side to the right (and vice-versa for a left-handed
striker). The stumps of the striker's wicket are called off stump,
middle stump, and leg stump, depending on which side they are on.
When a batsman gets out, no matter by what method, his wicket is said to
have fallen, and the fielding team are said to have taken a wicket.
Now, the ways of getting out:
These methods of getting out are listed in approximate order of how
commonly they occur. The first five are reasonably common, the last five
quite rare. The last three methods are almost never invoked.
- If a fielder catches the ball on the full after the batsman has
hit it with his bat. However, if the fielder catches the ball, but
either during the catch or immediately afterwards touches or steps
over the boundary, then the batsman scores six runs and is not out.
- If the batsman misses the ball and it hits and breaks the wicket
directly from the bowler's delivery. The batsman is out whether or not
he is behind his popping crease. He is also out bowled if the ball
breaks the wicket after deflecting from his bat or body. The batsman
is not out if the wicket does not break.
- Leg Before Wicket:
- If the batsman misses the ball with his bat, but
intercepts it with part of his body when it would otherwise have hit
the wicket, and provided several other conditions (described below)
are satisfied. An umpire must adjudicate such a decision, and will
only do so if the fielding team appeal the decision. This is a
question asked of the umpire, usually of the form ``How's that?'' (or
``Howzat?''), and usually quite enthusiastic and loud. If the ball
bounces outside an imaginary line drawn straight down the pitch from
the outside edge of leg stump, then the batsman cannot be out LBW, no
matter whether or not the ball would have hit the stumps. If the
batsman attempts to play a shot at the ball with his bat (and misses)
he may only be given out LBW if the ball strikes the batsman between
imaginary lines drawn down the pitch from the outside edges of leg and
off stumps (ie. directly in line with the wicket). If the batsman does
not attempt to play the ball with his bat, then he may be given out
LBW without satisfying this condition, as long as the umpire is
convinced the ball would have hit the wicket. If the ball has hit the
bat before the hitting the batsman, then he cannot be given out LBW.
- If a batsman misses the ball and in attempting to play it steps
outside his crease, he is out stumped if the wicket-keeper gathers the
ball and breaks the wicket with it before the batsman can ground part
of his body or his bat behind his crease.
- Run Out:
- If a batsman is attempting to take a run, or to return to his
crease after an aborted run, and a fielder breaks that batsman's
wicket with the ball while he is out of the crease. The fielder may
either break the wicket with a hand which holds the ball, or with the
ball directly. It is possible for the non-striker to be run out if the
striker hits the ball straight down the pitch towards the
non-striker's wicket, and the bowler deflects the ball on to the
wicket while the non-striker is out of his crease. If the ball is hit
directly on to the non-striker's wicket, without being touched by a
fielder, then the non-striker is not out. If the non-striker leaves
his crease (in preparation to run) while the bowler is running up, the
bowler may run him out without bowling the ball. Batsmen cannot be run
out while the ball is dead - so they may confer in the middle of the
pitch between deliveries if they desire.
- Hit Wicket:
- If, in attempting to hit a ball or taking off for a
first run, the batsman touches and
breaks the wicket. This includes with the bat or dislodged pieces of
the batsman's equipment - even a helmet or spectacles!
- Handle The Ball:
- If a batsman touches the ball with a hand not
currently holding the bat, without the
permission of the fielding side. This does not include being hit on
the hand by a delivery, or any other non-deliberate action.
- Obstructing The Field:
- If a batsman deliberately interferes with the
efforts of fielders to gather the ball or effect a run out. This does
not include running a path between the fielder and the wicket so that
the fielder cannot throw the stumps down with the ball, which is quite
legal, but does include any deliberate attempt to swat the ball away.
- Hit The Ball Twice:
- If a batsman hits a delivery with his bat and then
deliberately hits the ball again for any reason other than to defend
his wicket from being broken by the ball. If the ball is bouncing or
rolling around near the stumps, the batsman is entitled to knock it
away so as to avoid being bowled, but not to score runs.
- Timed Out:
- If a new batsman takes longer than two minutes, from the time
the previous wicket falls, to appear on the field.
If a batsman is out caught, bowled, LBW, stumped, or hit wicket, then
the bowler is credited with taking the wicket. No single person is
credited with taking a wicket if it falls by any other method.
The game is adjudicated by two umpires, who make all decisions on the
field and whose word is absolutely final. One umpire stands behind the
non-striker's wicket, ready to make judgements on LBWs and other events
requiring a decision. The other umpire stands in line with the striker's
popping crease, about 20 metres (20 yards) to one side (usually the leg
side, but not always), ready to judge stumpings and run-outs at his end.
The umpires remain at their respective ends of the pitch, thus swapping
roles every over.
If the technology is available for a given match, a third umpire is
sometimes used. He sits off the field, with a television replay monitor.
If an on-field umpire is unsure of a decision concerning either a run
out or a stumping attempt, he may signal for the third umpire to view a
television replay. The third umpire views a replay, in slow motion if
necessary, until he either reaches a decision or decides that he cannot
make a clear decision. He signals the result to the on-field umpire, who
must then abide by it. If the equipment fails, the replay umpire signals
no decision. The replay umpire cannot be used for any decisions other
than run outs and stumpings.
Whenever any decision is in doubt, the umpire must rule in favour of the
If the ball hits an umpire, it is still live and play continues. If it
lodges in an umpire's clothing, then it is dead.
The game is also presided over by a match referee, who watches from
outside the field. The referee makes no decisions of relevance to the
outcome of the game, but determines penalties for breaches of various
rules and misconduct. In professional games, these penalties are
Arguing with an umpire's decision is simply not tolerated. Anything more
than a polite question to the umpires is heavily frowned upon and could
attract a penalty from the referee. The most serious misconduct in a
cricket match is of the order of a rude gesture to an opponent or
throwing the ball into the ground in disgust. Such gross misbehaviour
would attract large fines and possibly match suspensions. Penalties for
physical violence can only be guessed at, but would possibly be a career
Extras are runs scored by means other than when the ball is hit by a
batsman. Extras are not credited to any batsman, and are recorded by the
scorer separately. The total number of runs for the innings is equal to
the sums of the individual batsmen's scores and the extras. There are
four types of extras: no balls, wides, byes, and leg byes.
The bowler must bowl each ball with part of his frontmost foot behind
the popping crease. If he oversteps this mark, he has bowled a no
ball. The umpire at that end calls ``no ball'' immediately in a loud
voice. The batsman may play and score runs as usual, and may not be out
by any means except run out, handle the ball, hit the ball twice, or
obstructing the field. Further, if the batsman does not score any runs
from the ball, one run is added to the batting team's score. Also, the
bowler must bowl an extra ball in his over to compensate. A no ball is
also called if any part of the bowler's back foot is not within the area
between the return creases.
If the bowler bowls the ball far to one side or over the head of the
batsman, so making it impossible to score, the umpire will signal the
ball as a wide. This gives the batting team one run and the bowler
must rebowl the ball.
If the striker misses a ball and the wicket-keeper fails to gather it
cleanly, the batsmen may take runs. These runs are called byes and are
scored as extras.
If the striker, in attempting to play a shot, deflects the ball with
part of his body, the batsmen may attempt to take a run. Such runs are
called leg byes. If the striker did not attempt to play a shot with
his bat, leg byes may not be taken. The umpire adjudicates by signalling
a dead ball if the batsmen attempt to run when, in his opinion, no
attempt was made to play a shot.
Batsmen may be run out as usual while running byes and leg-byes. If,
while running either form of bye, the ball reaches the boundary, four
byes (of the appropriate type) are scored.
The bowling action itself has to conform to several restrictions. The
bowler's arm must be straight when the ball is bowled (so no ``throwing''
is allowed). The ball must be bowled overarm, not underarm.
The difference between `bowling' and `throwing':
When you throw the ball, the elbow is cocked and used to impart energy
to the ball by straightening. When a ball is bowled, the elbow joint is
held extended throughout. All the energy is imparted by rotation of the
arm about the shoulder, and possibly a little by wrist motion. For a
right-handed bowler, the action goes roughly as follows:
After the run-up, the right foot is planted on the ground with the
instep facing the batsman. The right arm is extended backwards and down
at this stage. The left foot comes down on the popping crease as the
bowler's momentum carries him forward - he is standing essentially
left-side on to the batsman. As the weight transfers to the left foot,
the right arm is brought over the shoulder in a vertical arc. The ball
is released near the top of the arc, and the follow-through brings the
arm down and the right shoulder forward rapidly.
Bouncing the ball on the pitch is not mandatory. It's usually done
because the movement of the ball off the pitch makes it much harder to
hit. Unbounced deliveries, or full tosses are almost always much
easier to hit, and mostly they are bowled accidentally. A full toss
above hip height is no ball, and an umpire who suspects that such a ball
was deliberate will give the bowler an official warning. A warning is
also given if the umpire believes the bowler is bowling at the body of a
batsman in a deliberate attempt to injure the batsman. After two
warnings a bowler is barred from bowling for the rest of the innings.
If any rule governing the bowling action is violated, a no ball results.
Bowlers are allowed to polish the ball by rubbing it with cloth (usually
on their trouser legs) and applying saliva or sweat to it. Any other
substance is illegal, as is rubbing the ball on the ground. Usually one
side of the ball is polished smooth, while the other wears, so that the
bowler can achieve swing (curving the ball through the air). It is
also illegal to roughen the ball by any means, including scraping it
with the fingernails or lifting the seam. A bowler who illegaly tampers
with the ball is immediately suspended from bowling for the rest of that
The bowler may bowl from either side of the wicket, but must inform the
umpire and the batsmen if he wishes to change sides. Bowling with the
bowling arm closest to the wicket is called over the wicket, and is
most common. Bowling with the non-bowling are closest to the wicket is
called around the wicket.
The bowler may abort his run-up or not let go of the ball if he loses
his footing or timing for any reason. The umpire will signal dead ball
and the ball must be bowled again. If a bowler loses his grip on the
ball during the delivery action, it is considered to be a live ball only
if it is propelled forward of the bowler. If such a ball comes to rest
in front of the striker, but any distance to the side, the striker is
entitled to walk up to the ball and attempt to hit it with his bat. The
fielding team must not touch the ball until the striker either hits it
or declines to do so.
A delivery may also be aborted by the striker stepping away from his
stumps, if distracted by an insect or dust in the eye, for example.
In case of injury, substitutes may replace any number of fielders. A
substitute may only field - he may not bowl, nor bat. A substitute may not
keep wicket. A substituted player must return to the field as soon as he
is able to resume playing without danger.
If a batsman is injured, he may retire and resume his innings when fit
again, so long as his team's innings is not over. If a batsman is too
injured to bat when no other batsmen remain to come in after a wicket
falls, his innings must be forfeited and his team's innings ends. If a
batsman is able to bat, but not run, then another player may run for
him. The runner must wear the same equipment as the batter, and performs
all his running. The injured non-runner must remain behind his crease at
all times when the ball is in play or risk being run out, even if his
runner is safely behind a crease.
If a bowler is injured during an over and cannot complete it, another
bowler must bowl the remaining deliveries in that over. The bowler
chosen to finish the over must not be the bowler who bowled the previous
over, and must not bowl the over immediately following either.
A player may not leave the field for injury unless the injury is
sustained on the field. An injured player who takes the field may not
leave because of his pre-existing injury, unless it is clearly
aggravated further on the field.
Play is suspended at the umpires' discretion for rain. Light rain is
usually tolerated, though nothing heavier, because of the possibility of
damage to the pitch. If the players are off the field, they must remain
off until the rain has stopped completely. During rain the pitch is
covered with waterproof material to protect it. Often the bowlers'
run-ups and an area around the pitch are also covered.
During very windy conditions, sometimes the bails will tend to blow off
the top of the stumps. If this becomes a problem, the umpires can decide
to play without bails. In this case, the wicket does not need to be broken
by uprooting a stump, and the umpires must take full responsibility for
deciding, in a reasonable manner, whether the wicket is broken or not.
The umpires signal various events with gestures, as follows:
Cricket is played in two very distinct forms. The first is limited
duration, in which a specific number of hours of playing time are
allocated and each team plays two innings.
- When a batsman is out, the umpire making the decision raises one
hand above his head, with the index finger extended.
- Not Out:
- There is no formal signal to indicate that a batsman is not
out. The umpire can either shake his head `no' or not signal at all.
- A four scored by the ball reaching the boundary is signalled by an
arm extended horizontally and waved briefly back and forth in a
- A six is signalled by raising both arms straight over the head.
- No Ball:
- A no ball is signalled by holding an arm out horizontally.
- A wide is signalled by holding both arms out horizontally.
- Runs scored as byes are signalled by raising one arm over the
head, palm open.
- Leg Byes:
- Leg byes are signalled by raising one leg and tapping the knee
with one hand.
- Dead Ball:
- If the umpire has to signal dead ball to prevent the players
from assuming that the ball is still alive, he waves both arms across
each other in front of his abdomen.
- One Short:
- One short is signalled by touching the tip of one hand to the
- TV Replay:
- If an umpire wishes the third umpire to make a decision
based on a TV replay, he signals by drawing a large square shape in the
air with both hands, spreading them out high in the air in front of him,
bringing them down, and then together again.
The second is limited overs, in which each team plays one innings of a
pre-determined number of overs.
First class cricket matches are the most prestigious games, played at a
professional level. The top level games are international Test
matches, played betwen countries. There are also domestic first class
cricket competitions. First class matches are of limited duration. Test
matches will be described first, then any differences for other first
class matches will be described.
Test matches are played over five days, with six hours play each day.
Each day's play is divided into three sessions of two hours each, with
a 40 minute break between the first two session for lunch, and a 20
minute tea break between the last two sessions. A short drinks break is
taken once an hour, or more often in very hot weather. Play usually goes
from 11:00 local time to 18:00, although this may be varied if sunset
occurs early. The scheduled close of play time is called stumps. Test
matches are never played under artificial lighting.
Each team has two innings, usually played in alternating order. Each
innings is over when either ten batsmen are out, or the captain of the
batting side declares the innings closed (for strategic reasons, more
later). When all the innings are completed, the team with the most runs
wins. If there is a tie, the result stands (this is rare - it has only
ever happened twice).
If by the end of the final day's play all the innings are not completed,
the game is a draw, no matter who appeared to be ``winning''. Thus the
strategic importance of sometimes declaring an innings closed, in order
to have enough time to dismiss the other team and so win the game.
The order of the innings alternates except when the follow-on is
enforced. This can occur if the second team to bat in the first innings
scores 200 or more runs fewer than the first team. The captain of the
first team may then ask the second team to follow on, i.e. to bat its
second innings immediately, and defer his own team's second innings
Whenever a change of innings occurs during a session, a ten minute break
is taken. If the end of an innings occurs within ten minutes of the end
of the first or second sessions, the ten minute break is lost and the
scheduled interval is shifted to begin immediately. If the end of an
innings occurs within ten minutes of stumps, the day's play ends early.
Test matches are played with a red cricket ball. A new ball is used for
the beginning of each innings. The same ball must be used throughout the
innings, being replaced only in the following cases:
In cases 2 and 3, the ball must be replaced by a previously used ball of
similarly worn condition to the old ball, as chosen by the umpires. If
the ball is ever hit so that a spectator gathers it, the spectator must
return it so that play can continue.
- The captain of the bowling team may elect to take a new ball at any
time after 80 overs have been bowled with the previous ball.
- If the ball is lost, it is replaced.
- If the ball is damaged, either by the stitching coming undone or the
ball becoming clearly non-spherical, it is replaced.
On each day of play in a Test match, a minimum of 90 overs must be
bowled. If the bowling team has not bowled the required minimum by the
scheduled stumps time, play is extended until the required number of
overs have been bowled. Whenever an innings ends, the number of overs to
be bowled is recalculated, disregarding the number of overs bowled so
far during the same day. The required minimum is calculated to be the
number of minutes of play remaining, divided by 4 and rounded up. On the
last day of play, this formula is used up until one hour before stumps,
then fifteen overs are added to the result. If extra overs are bowled
before the time one hour before stumps on the final day, then there
still must be a minimum of fifteen overs bowled after the time one hour
before stumps. All of these conditions are recalculated for time lost
due to poor weather, at a rate of one over per 4 minutes of lost time.
If a day's play ends early because of poor weather conditions, all
calculations are reset for the next day.
If there is heavy cloud cover, the umpires may decide that the ambient
light level is too low and that the batsmen may be in danger because of
difficulty in sighting the ball. If so, they offer the light to the
batsmen, who may agree to leave the field or may decide to play on. If
the light deteriorates further, the umpires will offer again. If the
batsmen decide to leave the field and the light improves, the umpires
make the decision to resume play.
If a fielder leave the field for any reason and then returns during the
same innings, he may not bowl until he has been on the field again for
as much time as he spent off the field.
Test matches are played in Series between two of the official Test
nations. A Test Series consists of a set number of matches, from one to
six, all of which are played to completion, even if one team gains an
unassailable lead in the Series. Series of three or five matches are
most common. Some pairs of nations compete against one another for a
perpetual trophy. If a Series between two such nations is drawn, the
holder of the trophy retains it.
Non-Test first class cricket differs from Test cricket in only a few
respects. A non-Test first class match is usually four days long, not
five. In a four-day game, the cut-off figure for enforcing the follow-on
is 150 or more runs behind the first team. The formula used to determine
the minimum number of overs bowled in a non-Test first class match may
be different to that used for a Test match; there is no standard
Non-Test first class competitions are usually round-robins amongst
several domestic teams. Other first class matches include single games
between visiting international sides and domestic first class teams.
One-day cricket differs significantly from first class cricket. A one-
day match is played on a single day. Either a red or a white cricket
ball may be used, and play under artificial lighting is allowed.
Each team gets only one innings, and that innings is restricted to a
maximum number of overs. Usual choices for the number of overs are 50,
55, or 60. Each innings is complete at the end of the stipulated number
of overs, no matter how many batsmen are out. If ten batsmen are out
before the full number of overs are bowled, the innings is also over. If
the first team's innings ends in this manner, the second team still has
its full number of overs to score the required runs. The timing of the
innings and the break between them are not regulated.
Whichever team scores the most runs wins. A tied score stands. There is
no draw result. If the match is washed out, so that the innings are not
played, the game is declared a no-result.
In each innings, each bowler is restricted to bowling a maximum number
of overs equal to one fifth of the total number of overs in the innings.
Either a single new ball is used for each innings, or two new balls
which are alternated between overs. (This is often done with white balls
because they wear much faster than red balls.) New balls are never taken
during an innings, but replacements for lost or damaged balls are taken
as in first class matches.
In case of rain interruption to the first innings, the number of overs
for each innings is recalculated so that they will be the same. If rain
interrupts the second innings, making it impossible for an equal number
of overs to be bowled, the number of runs scored by the first team is
adjusted to compensate. There is no standard adjustment formula - one is
decided beforehand for any given competition. There is also a
predetermined number of overs which must be bowled in each innings for
any result to be considered valid; if this limit is not reached the game
is a no-result.
Because of the emphasis on scoring runs quickly, wide balls are enforced
much more strictly in one-day cricket.
One-day competitions are played either as Series between pairs of
international teams, round-robin competitions between groups of
international teams, or round-robins between domestic teams. A World Cup
one-day competition is played between all the Test nations each four
The following statistics are recorded:
A single innings scorecard might look like this:
- number of runs scored, time spent batting, number of balls
faced, how out (and by which bowler and catcher if appropriate).
- number of overs bowled, number of maidens bowled, number of
wickets taken, number of runs conceded (i.e. scored off his bowling).
- extras, total runs, wickets fallen, overs bowled, total at each
fall of wicket.
|At a glance|
|Fall of Wickets|
| 1/52 (S Ganguly, 10.4 Ov)
|| 2/98 (V V S Laxman, 19.2 Ov)
| 3/149 (R Dravid, 28.5 Ov)
|| 4/157 (M Kaif, 30.3 Ov)
| 5/315 (Yuvraj, 48.2 Ov)
|| 6/316 (V Bharadwaj, 48.4 Ov)
|Fall of Wickets|
| 1/50 (A Campbell, 10.1 Ov)
|| 2/111 (T Friend, 22.1 Ov)
| 3/113 (A Flower, 22.4 Ov)
|| 4/114 (D Ebrahim, 23.1 Ov)
| 5/143 (S Carlisle, 27.4 Ov)
|| 6/227 (G Flower, 39.4 Ov)
| 7/227 (D Marillier, 40 Ov)
|| 8/228 (T Taibu, 40.2 Ov)
| 9/229 (G Brent, 41 Ov)
|| 10/232 (H Streak, 42.1 Ov)
The team score is usually given as ``(number of wickets) for (number of
runs)'' in Australia. In England, New Zealand, and some other countries
it is given as ``(number of runs) for (number of wickets)''. Bowling
figures are sometimes printed in shortened form, for example:
Zaheer Khan 8[O] 0[M] 29[R] 3[W] 3[NB] 0[WD] 3.6[R/O]
The partnership scores can be seen from the differences between
successive fall of wicket scores.
Good performances are considered to be:
Each of these tasks is usually greeted with enthusiastic applause from
the spectators. The crowd also usually applauds significant events such
as: Any wicket falling, a six, a four, a good over from a bowler (one
which the batsmen have great difficulty playing safely), a good athletic
effort from a fielder to gather the ball, the innings total reaching a
multiple of 50.
- A batsman scoring 50, or 100, or multiples thereof.
- A partnership adding 50, or 100, or multiples thereof.
- A bowler taking five wickets in a single innings.
- A bowler taking ten wickets in a two innings match. (This is an
excellent performance and a relatively rare feat.)
- A bowler taking a hat trick, i.e. three wickets in three
successive balls (perhaps in different overs). This is even more rare.
The number of runs scored in an innings average about 3 per over for a
first class match, and 4 per over in a one-day match. The variation on
these numbers can be quite large, differences of up to one run per over
being not uncommon. In a first class match, a captain makes his decision
on declaring the innings closed based on the remaining time in the match
and the size of his team's lead. He will try to allow as much time as
possible to bowl the opposition out, while ensuring they do not have
enough time to score enough runs to win.
Over a single player's career, the two most important statistics are:
- Batting Average:
- The aggregate number of runs scored divided by the
number of times the batsman has been out. The higher, the better.
- Bowling Average:
- The aggregate runs scored against a bowler divided by
the number of wickets taken. The lower, the better.
The International Cricket Council overseas all international cricket
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