Guide to Cricket

Cricket - that game that is almost quintessentially English. People either seem to 'get' cricket, and how to play the great game, or don't understand it at all! Many haven't even heard of cricket outside of England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies, which are the major test cricket playing nations.

Therefore for those who don't know much about cricket, or indeed how to play cricket, here is our list of some cricketing terms, to help explain the game and its terminology to you!

All rounder - a player who can do at least two of the following well: batting, bowling and fielding.

Bails - the two pieces (normally made) of wood that sit on top of the stumps to comprise the wicket. One way of being dismissed 'out' as a batsman is if the bails are dislodged to the floor from the stumps.

Bouncer - a short pitched ball which is aimed at the upper half of the batsman. If it goes through at or above shoulder height it is a bouncer. There is a limit to how many bouncers can be bowled in an over, dependent on the variety of the game.

Boundary - the edge of the playing area, normally marked with a rope.

Bowled - one method of dismissal. When a batsman's bails are knocked off the stumps.

Bowling Crease - refers to a painted line, 2.64m in length extending on both sides of the wicket. For a valid delivery the bowler needs to deliver the ball from behind the line (otherwise it is a 'no ball')

Bye - a run scored from a ball which passes the batsman without touching his bat or body. Umpire signals this by raising his hand.

Carrying your bat - any batsmen who bats the full duration of the innings without being out is said to carry their bat.

Crease - a painted line within which the bowler must bowl and at which the opposing batsman stands. One at each end of the field.

Duck - sounds comical, but just refers to a score of 0. Golden duck is first ball dismissal.

Extra is a run which is added to the total but not credited to the batsman.

low-on - A side which bats first and leads by a set number of runs after both teams have had their first innings can make the opposition bat again if desired.

Full toss - A ball which does not bounce before reaching the batsman.

Gully - the fielding position between point and slips.

Hat-trick - Three wickets taken with three consecutive balls by the same bowler. May span different overs or even innings as long as they are consecutive.

Innings - The period when a team is batting is their innings. Normally four innings in a 3/4/5 day game (two innings each)

Leg before wicket (lbw) - dismissal where a bowled ball would have hit the stumps had it not hit the batsman's body or clothes first.

Leg-bye - A run where a ball hit a part of the batsman's body apart from his hands.

Leg spinner - A bowler who bowls leg spin, e.g. the ball moves from the leg side after bouncing.

Maiden over - an over from which no runs are scored.

Night-watchman is a lower order batsman sent in to play when a wicket falls just before close of play.

No Ball. A ball incorrectly bowled for which a penalty of one run is awarded in most forms of cricket. Normally a no ball is called if the bowler oversteps the crease.

Over - 6 balls in a row

Run-out - When a batsman is running between the wickets but does not reach the crease before the ball touches the stumps. Dismissal.

Seam. The stitching around the edge of the ball.

Slip - a fielder positioned to try to catch balls glancing off the bat to the offside. An aggressive fielder and a common form of dismissal particularly off quick bowlers.

Stumped- when the wicket keeper dislodges the bails with the batsman outside his crease.

Wide - a ball bowled so high over or wide of the wicket that it is out of the reach of the batsman.

Yorker - a ball bowled so that it hits the ground at the exact time it reaches the batsman. An effective way of stopping runs and gaining dismissals.

Cricketing Dismissals

Finally a quick note for those of you who do quizzes. The most common quiz question around cricket is usually asking you how many cricketing dismissals there are, and how many you can name. The answer is that there are ten ways of being out in cricket. These include: caught, stumped, run out, bowled, leg before wicket (LBW), hit wicket, timed out, handled the ball, obstructing the fielder, hit the ball twice.

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