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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 May, 2003, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Teach yourself cricket speak
Do you find yourself on a sticky wicket when it comes to cricketing slang?

Wonder no more, with the first part of our step-by-step guide to all the jargon.


An unplayable delivery - think Shane Warne's "Ball of the Century" to remove Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993. Less effective when using an orange, obviously.


Ugly brute of a delivery - quick, short and designed to take the batsman's head off if he doesn't take evasive action. Not to be confused with bouncer - ugly brute designed to take your head off.

Risky, but effective shot played with the back knee on the ground to despatch to square leg balls which keep low. Not to be confused with the puppet of the same name.

Attacking, punchy, front-foot shot straight down the ground or through the covers. Michael Vaughan is one of the best drivers in the business - along with Michael Schumacher.

A batsman prodding down loose areas of the pitch with the end of his bat. In Glenn McGrath's case, it means planting seeds of doubt in the batsman's mind before uprooting his wicket.

A batsman who is removed from the attack without troubling the scorers. Thought to be so called because a duck's egg is the same shape as a zero. Plus it sounds better than hen.

An underhand delivery used by a leg-spin bowler which comes at the batsman faster than a standard ball, with backspin. Gets Shane Warne's seal of approval. Arf, arf.

To tell your opponent what you think about him in a less than complimentary fashion. One of the most legendary examples features Glenn McGrath, Mrs McGrath, Zimbabwe's Eddo Brandes - and a biscuit!

A reflex action shot to the onside aimed at keeping a short ball from smacking you plum in the face. Ian Botham often used to play it with his eyes closed. For a laugh.

Fielding positions close to the wicket-keeper. Can contain up to five players, making a slip cordon. Takes on a different meaning when an easy catch ("dolly") is spilled.

The faintest of edges from a batsman - often resulting in a catch behind. Also known as a tickle - but you can be sure England's middle order won't be laughing if, sorry - when, they get done.

An Australian term for a googly. Still confused? It's a ball released out of the back of the hand, which spins the "wrong way" - from off to leg, fooling the batsman. There, that's cleared that up.

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