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Cricket for beginners - part II

We're asking new converts to cricket to send in the questions about the game - and we've been flooded by emails. Read the latest batch below.


Russell, Herts

If the non-striking batsman is advancing down the wicket as the bowler is about to bowl and the batsman is out of his crease, can the bowler run out the non-striker?

Yes, but it is seen as an extremely "ungentlemanly" way of dismissing a batsman, which goes against the spirit of the game.

You will rarely see this happening in any form of cricket.

However, if a bowler feels the non-striker is taking liberties, they can opt to oblige the umpire to "warn" the batsman by making to knock off the bails, without actually going through with it.

Harry, Sussex

If the batsman uses his helmet or his arm to stop the ball hitting the stumps instead of hitting the ball with his bat, would that be LBW?

Yes, an LBW dismissal doesn't necessarily have to hit the pad.

If the ball hits the arm, shoulder or chest and the principles of the LBW decision still apply (eg ball hit the batsman's arm/shoulder/chest in line with the stumps, ball not going over stumps etc), then a batsman can be given out by the umpire.

But if the ball hits the hand in control of the bat, then an LBW decision cannot be given.

Usman, Birmingham

Can a batsman hit the ball, run behind it and kick it over the boundary?

Great question, but the answer is no. The batsman can be given out obstructing the field, that is deliberately getting in the way of a fielder attempting to run them out or catch them.

Since the batsman would be out of their crease trying to kick the ball to the boundary, they would be obstructing any fielder attempting to pick up the ball and run them out.

Roel, The Netherlands

What happens if a batsman hits his stumps or bails with his bat:

A) During a delivery?
B) While making a practice swing before a delivery?
C) If a batsman hits the stumps at the non-striker's end?

A) If the batsman hits their stumps during a delivery, they are given out. The dismissal will be registered as hit wicket.

B) If the batsman breaks their wicket during a practice swing and the ball is making its way back to the bowler, they will be not out as the ball will be "dead", which means that play is not active.

C) if the ball hits the stumps at the non-striker's end when the non-striker is out of their crease, they will be not out. However, if the ball has been touched by any member of the fielding side before the ball has broken the stumps and the non-striker is out of the crease, then they will be out. If the ball hits the non-striker then hits the stumps, the batsman is in.

Christine, England

What is a bye?

A bye is a legal delivery that passes the stumps without the ball touching either the bat or the batsman's body.

You sometimes see the wicket-keeper missing the ball and the batsmen taking runs.

Those runs are byes and are added to the batting side's extras total.

Allen Donald, USA

If the ball hits the batsman helmet and the fielder catches the ball, would this mean the batsman is out?

No. The batsman can only be caught if the ball has made contact with the bat or the hands controlling the bat.

Keith, Canada

What is the follow-on and what are the criteria for it?

The follow-on can happen when the team batting second - say Australia - fail to reach within 200 runs of the first-innings total of the team that batted first - say England.

(The figure 200 only applies in five-day matches, it is only 150 in four and three-day games)

If Australia failed to reach the 200-behind mark, England would have the option of putting Australia into bat again - even though is England's turn to bat.

The advantage for England would be that they can keep up the pressure on their struggling opposition, and would ideally aim to bowl Australia out before they reached the total - thus avoiding having to bat again.

However, England would not necessarily have to enforce Australia to follow-on.

They could bat again if they want to rest their bowlers, and did not want to bat last on a wearing pitch or build a huge total which the opposition could not chase.

Hitesh, London

Can a bowler bowl two consecutive overs - can they finish one over from one end and continue bowling another over from the other end?

The simple answer is no. Bowlers can only bowl from one end at a time and cannot bowl two overs consecutively.

However, Martyn Partridge of Kenilworth writes: "This happened on 15 August 1982 (the first ever Sunday played at Lord's).

"Imran Khan bowled Robin Jackman LBW from the Pavilion end with the last ball of the first over of the day, putting England all out 201 runs behind Pakistan.

"Having invited the opposition to follow-on, Imran bowled the first over of the second innings from the Nursery end to Derek Randall. This unusual event was all over before most spectators had taken their seats."

Iain Simpson, Finland

What's the maximum number of runs that can be scored from one ball?

There is no definitive number, but there is a realistic limit. However it can be more than six.

For example, if the batsman hits a six off a no ball, it counts as seven runs to the batting team's total, six runs for the shot and one run for the no ball.

Or if the batsmen have run four and the outfielder's throw misses the wicket-keeper and races to the boundary, the batting team will have eight runs added to their total.

Rajeev, USA

If your bat is touching the crease (half in and half out) and the ball hits the wicket, are you run out or not?

The front line (popping crease) "belongs" to the umpire, which means if the bat is on the popping crease when the wicket is broken, the batsman is out.

Jhon, Canada

If the ball broke a batman's bat and it carried on to hit the stumps, is the batsman out?

Yes. It doesn't matter what part of the batsman the ball has made contact with, as long as it is a legitimate delivery, the batsman will be out.

If the broken part of the bat dislodges the bails, the batsman will also be out.

Whether they will be dismissed bowled or hit-wicket is up to the umpire - but one thing is for sure, they're definitely out!



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