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Cricket for beginners - part III
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.


Why can a match be declared a draw if the scores aren't the same
JP, Manchester

Because cricket is more subtle than that!

In order to win a Test match, the side bowling last must take all 10 of the opposition's wickets, otherwise the match will be drawn, regardless of the scores because the batting side's innings is not complete.

In order for the side batting last to win a Test match, they must score more runs that the combined score from their opponents two completed innings, regardless of the number of wickets taken.

A fielder scores a direct hit, but the batsman is in the crease, the ball carries on and the batsmen run again - how do you run them out at the end where the stumps are already down?
John , Leicestershire

The stump must be removed from the ground, either by the ball or the fielder holding the ball, or if he has time, the fielder can put the bails back on.

If the bowling side wants to keep one batsman on strike to bowl at and that batsman hits a shot which stops centimetres before the boundary rope and the batsmen run three. If the fielder knocks it by mistake over the boundary rope, is this four runs? Is the original batsman still on strike?
Rich, Nottingham

If the fielder has unintentionally misfielded the ball, the batsman scores four runs for the boundary and would remain on strike.

If he has intentionally kicked it over the rope, the batsman scores seven - four for the boundary plus the three run - so the batsman would not remain on strike.

Apologies for earlier confusion with this answer.

Can you explain how Australia will retain the Ashes if they win at Trent Bridge when the series is level and there are five matches - surely they would have to win three matches - England could win the last match & the series would be level?
Sue, Bristol

As holders of the Ashes, Australia only need to draw the series to retain the trophy. As challengers, England need to win the series outright to take the trophy back off their old rivals.

Where does the ball have to pitch for a leg before wicket dismissal?
Helen, Kent

It's a complicated rule - check out our more detailed Academy guide.

Is the twelfth man only able to field and not bat or bowl? In which case is it normal to pick as your twelfth man the best fielder in the country, who has not made the Test side, or someone else?
Kim, London

A substitute is only allowed on the field if he is replacing an injured player. He cannot bat, bowl, wicket-keep or act as captain.

However the tradition in England is that the man named 12th in the squad (in England's case, Chris Tremlett) is not used as the substitute fielder.

Instead, that honour is usually given to a decent fielder from the club of the home ground where the Test is being played, in this case Nottinghamshire, if that county does not have a game.

There is no limit to the number of substitutes that can be used - it is not unknown for two or three to be on the field at once - nor a time limit for how long they may play.

Can anyone in a team bowl during a match, or does a team have to declare their bowlers before the match starts?
Rob Stansbie, London

Anyone can bowl, even the wicketkeeper (except substitute fielders).

If a batsman makes contact with a delivery (or swings and misses, and he can see it is heading for the stumps, can he knock it out of the way with his hand/foot/bat?
Matt, Birmingham

Yes the batsman can knock it out of the way - but not with the hand (or he/she will be given out 'handled ball').

However, if a batsman hits the ball twice while not protecting his wicket he will be given out (even if he is trying to prevent a fielder catching the ball which is also arguably "protecting his wicket").

A batsman can hit the ball a second time in order to return it to a fielder, as long as he asks permission.

I've heard that there are 11 ways to get out in cricket, but I cant think of more than about 6 or 7 (although i can add obstructing the field now). Can you list the various ways you can be given out please?
Stuart, Lancaster

Can a batsman be given out 'handled the ball' if in fact it is his forearm that touches the ball (similar to handball in football) ?
Richard Morton, Germany & UK

The laws of the game (law 33) state it must touch the hand.

If the batsmen choose to run on a no-ball, can they be run out?
Jonathan, Wolverhampton


Can two batsmen be out with the same ball?

Thanks, among others, to Michael Jones, of Long Sutton, who writes: "Under Law 23.1(a)(iii), the ball becomes dead as soon as a batsman is dismissed. Therefore it is not possible for both batsmen to be dimissed off the same ball. "

There is also a theoretical situation where a batsman is dismissed and his successor takes too long to get to the wicket, he could be "timed out" (though the fielding side are unlikely to appeal for this as it would be against the spirit of the game.)

What is meant by swing and reverse swing? what relationship does a new ball have to this?
David Knifton, Liverpool

If a batsman edges a ball, it goes past the wicket keeper, bounces off the helmet (behind the wicket) and subsequently caught without bouncing, is it given out as it hasn't touched the floor? (This happened in a club game!)
Matt Sullivan, Essex

The batsman will be awarded five penalty runs and given not out because the ball is classed as dead as soon as it hits the helmet.

What would be the difference in layout between an attacking field and a defensive field?
Chris, London

Broken/damaged fingers are not infrequent in cricket and presumably related to the hardness of the ball. Is there a rule that states fielders ( apart from the wicket-keeper) are not allowed to wear gloves?
Scott, England

Yes. Fielders are not allowed to wear gloves or external leg guards.

If the batsman hits a six but, actually makes more runs by running stump to stump, which score counts? The six, or say the 10 he may have run in the time it took to find the ball?
Candida Scott-Knight, London

Nice idea Candida! But once the ball is over the boundary rope, the ball is dead, so only the six counts.


What's a nightwatchman?
Steve, UK

A nightwatchman is a player who normally bats late in the order but who is sent in when a wicket falls near the end of play and the batting side have just a few wickets down, to protect more specialist batsmen below him in the order.

The theory is the nightwatchman sees out the rest of the day's play so the batting team can keep their skilled batsmen for the following day.

What is a chinaman?
Paul McCabe, Staffs

A chinaman is a ball from a normal left-arm spinner that turns the opposite way to his normal delivery (i.e. from left to right).

The term is said to come from the former West Indian player EE Achong, a left-arm spinner of Chinese origin, who bowled wrist spin as well as left-arm orthodox.

What is the definition of a Strike Bowler?
Neal, Chester

A leading wicket-taker, or most attacking bowler, often used to open the attack.

What is a Jaffa?
Jayne, London, Leytonstone

A jaffa is a slang term for an unplayable ball which has the batsman completely baffled.



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