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A to Z of Cricket

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This section is in advanced English and is only intended to be a guide, not to be taken too seriously!
With dictionary look up. Double click on any word for its definition.


Agricultural shot a swing across the line of the ball played without much technique. Often one that results in a chunk of the pitch being dug up by the bat . A type of a slog .
All out
when an innings is ended due to ten of the eleven batsmen on the batting side being either dismissed or unable to bat because of injury or illness.
a player adept at batting and bowling, or batting and wicket-keeping.
All-round spin a player who can bowl both wrist spin and finger spin adeptly.
a top-order batsman capable of batting for a long duration throughout the innings. Usually batsman playing at numbers 3 or 4 play such a role, especially if there is a batting collapse. An anchor plays defensively, and is often the top scorer in the innings.
Arm ball
a deceptive delivery bowled by an off spin bowler that is not spun so, unlike the off break , it travels straight on (with the bowler's arm). A particularly good bowler's arm ball might also swing away from the batsman in the air.
Around the wicket
the term used to denote that a right-handed bowler passing to the right of the stumps during his bowling action, and vice-versa for left-handed bowlers .
one or more players on the fielding side asking the umpire if the batsman is out, by shouting "Howzzat" ("How's that?").
(The) Ashes the perpetual prize in England v Australia Test match series. See Brief History
At stumps
end of the day's play in a match longer than one day.


Back foot shot a shot played with the batsman's weight on his back foot (i.e. the foot furthest from the bowler ). Back spin (also under-spin ) a delivery which has a rotation backwards so that after pitching it immediately slows down.
Backing up
  1. after a fielder chases the ball, another fielder placed at a further distance also moves into position so that if the fielder mis-fields the ball, the damage done is minimal. Also done to support a fielder receiving a throw from the outfield in case the throw is errant or not caught.
  2. the non-striking batsman leaving his crease during the delivery in order to shorten the distance to complete one run. A batsman "backing up" too far runs the risk of being run out.
Bail one of the two small pieces of wood that lie on top of the stumps to form the wicket .
the wooden implement with which the batsman attempts to strike the ball.
(also, particularly in women's' cricket, batter ) a player on the batting side.
the act and skill of defending one's wicket and scoring runs .
Batting average
the average number of runs scored per innings by a batsman , calculated by dividing the batsman's total runs scored during those innings in question by the number of times the batsman was out. Compare innings average .
Batting end
the end of the pitch at which the batsman stands.
Batting innings
the number of games that a player gets to bat in a match. For one-day matches, this usually is less than the number of matches that a player is selected to play; for first-class and Test matches , this may be up to twice the number of matches played.
Batting order
the order in which the batsmen bat, from the openers , through the top order and middle order to the lower order .
Beach cricket
an informal form of the game.
a delivery that reaches the batsman at around head height without bouncing. Due to the risk of injury to the batsman , a beamer is an illegal delivery , punishable by a no ball being called. A deliberate beamer being bowled in a match can cause a minor scandal .
  1. A defensive shot;
  2. To play a defensive shot.
Block hole The block hole is the area between where the batsman rests his bat to receive a delivery and his toes. It is the target area for a yorker .
a (now illegal) tactic involving bowling directly at the batsman's body, particularly with close fielders packed on the leg side . The term "Bodyline" is usually used to describe the contentious 1932-33 Ashes Tour, the tactic is often called " leg theory " in other contexts.
a fast short pitched delivery that rises up near the batsman's head.
  1. the perimeter of the ground;
  2. four runs . Also used to mention a four and a six collectively.
  3. the rope that demarcates the perimeter of the ground.
Bowled a mode of a batsman's dismissal. Occurs when a delivery hits the stumps .
Bowled out
the term used to denote that a team's innings is complete, by virtue of having its ten batsman dismissed. (It has nothing to do with the particular dismissal bowled .)
Bowler the player on the fielding side who bowls to the batsman .
the act of delivering the cricket ball to the batsman .
Bowling analysis
(also called bowling figures) a shorthand statistical notation summarising a bowler's performance.
Bowling average
the average number of runs scored off a bowler for each wicket he has taken. i.e. total runs conceded divided by number of wickets taken.
Bowling end
the end of the pitch from where the bowler bowls.
a item of kit shaped like a half-shell and worn down the front of a player's (particularly a batsman's ) trousers to protect his or her genitalia.
two wickets taken off two consecutive deliveries.
the act of dislodging the bails from the stumps.
a suffix used to describe the ball changing direction after pitching .
Buffet bowling Bowling of a very poor quality, such that the batsmen is able to "help himself" to runs.
see rabbit .
Bump ball
a delivery that bounces very close to the batsman's foot, after he has played a shot , such that it appears to have come directly from the bat without ground contact. The result is often a crowd catch .
obsolete name for a bouncer .
if a delivery passes the batsman , but is not wide , and the wicket-keeper still cannot stop the ball, the batsman may run, in which case the runs are scored as "byes".


Carry if a hit ball is caught by a fielder on the fly, it is said to have carried. If it bounces just short of the fielder, it is said not to have carried.
Carry the bat
an opener who bats without getting dismissed after the team innings is closed.
Catch to dismiss a batsman by a fielder catching the ball after the batsman has hit it with his bat but before it hits the ground.
to get a batsman out clean bowled.
an individual score of over 100 runs , significant landmark for a batsman . Sometimes used to describe a bowler conceding over 100 runs in an innings .
Chinaman a left-handed bowler bowling wrist spin (left arm unorthodox). For a right-handed batsman , the ball will move from the off side to the leg side (left to right on the TV screen). Named after Ellis "Puss" Achong , a West Indian left-arm leg-spin bowler of Chinese descent.
Chinese cut
(also French cut or Surrey cut )  an inside edge which misses hitting the stumps by a few centimetres.
Chip shot
a shot played by the batsman on a gentle lob trajectory over infielders, allowing the batsman to get one or two runs . A chip shot usually does not go to the outfield .
to throw the ball instead of bowling it (i.e. by straightening the elbow during the delivery); also chucker : a bowler who chucks; and chucking : such an illegal bowling action.
(The) Circle
a painted circle (or ellipse), centred in the middle of the pitch , of radius 30 yard (27 m) marked on the field, separating the infield from the outfield , used in policing the regulations for certain one-day versions of the game.
Clean bowled
bowled , without a delivery first hitting the bat or pad .
County cricket
first-class cricket played between counties of a country (particularly England).
Close infield
the area enclosed by a painted dotted circle of 15 yard (13.7 m) radius measured from the wicket on each end of the pitch . Used only in ODI matches.
Corridor of uncertainty
a good line . The corridor of uncertainty is a notional narrow area on and just outside a batsman's off stump . If a delivery is in the corridor, it is difficult for a batsman to decide whether to leave the ball, play defensively or play an attacking shot. The term was popularised by former England batsman, now commentator, Geoffrey Boycott.
County cap
awarded by most counties not on a player's first appearance, but at a later stage when it is felt he has "proved himself" as a member of the team; some players never receive one. Worcestershire have now abolished this system and award "colours" to each player on his debut.
Cow corner
the area of the field (roughly) between deep mid-wicket and wide long-on . So called because few 'legitimate' shots are aimed to this part of the field, so fielders are rarely placed there - leading to the conceit that cows could happily graze in that area.
Cow shot
a hard shot , usually in the air, across the line of a full-pitched ball, aiming to hit the ball over the boundary at cow corner , with very little regard to proper technique. Very powerful and a good way of hitting boundary sixes , but must be timed perfectly to avoid being bowled , or either skying the ball or getting a leading edge and so being caught . A type of slog .
Crease one of several lines on the pitch near the stumps (the "popping crease", the "return crease" and the "bowling crease").
a person who plays cricket.
Cross-bat shot
a shot played with the bat parallel with the ground, such as a cut or a pull .
Crowd catch A fielder's stop which leads to a roar from the crowd because at first impression it is a dismissal, but which turns out to be not out (because of a no ball or a bump ball )
a shot played square on the off side to a short-pitched delivery wide of off stump . So called because the batsman makes a "cutting" motion as he plays the shot .
a break delivery bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler with similar action to a spin bowler , but at a faster pace. It is usually used in an effort to surprise the batsman , although some medium-pace bowlers use the cutter as their stock (main) delivery .


Dead ball
  1. the state of play in between deliveries , in which batsmen may not score runs or be given out
  2. called when a delivery bounces twice on the pitch before reaching the batsman
  3. called when the ball is (or is about to be) bowled when the batsman is not yet ready
  4. called when a bowler aborts his run up without making a delivery
Death overs the final 10 overs in an one-day match, in which most bowlers are hit for lots of runs.
the act of a captain voluntarily bringing his side's innings to a close, in the belief that their score is now great enough to prevent defeat. Occurs almost exclusively in timed forms of cricket where a draw is a possible result (such as first class cricket ), in order that the side declaring have enough time to bowl the opposition out and therefore win.
Delivery the act of bowling the ball.
a delivery bowled with curves into or away from the batsman before pitching .
to get one of the batsmen out so that he must cease batting.
a very easy catch .
from the Hindi or Urdu for second or other , a relatively new off spin delivery developed by Saqlain Mushtaq . It is the off spin equivalent of the googly , in that it turns the "wrong way".
Dot ball
a delivery bowled without any runs scored off it, so called because it is recorded in the score book with a single dot.
a possible result of a cricket match. It occurs in timed matches when the team batting last are not all out , but fail to reach their opponent's total. A draw is not the same as a tie , because the two sides' scores are not equal.
the slight lateral curved-path movement that a spinner extracts while the ball is in flight. Considered very good bowling.
a powerful shot hit along the ground in a direction between cover point on the off side and mid-wicket on the leg side .
a batsman who gets out for zero runs .
Duck under delivery a short pitched delivery that appears to be a bouncer, making the striker duck to avoid from being hit; but instead of bouncing high, it has a low bounce which causes the batsman to get dismissed LBW or even bowled.
Duckworth-Lewis method
a mathematically based rule that derives a target score for the side batting second in a rain-affected one-day match.


Economy rate the average number of runs scored per over in the bowler's spell.
Edge (or snick or nick)  a slight deviation of the ball off the edge of the bat . Top, bottom, inside and outside edges denote the four edges of the bat . See also leading edge.


Fall of wicket ("FoW")  the batting team's score at which a batsman gets out .
Fast bowling (also "pace bowling")  bowlers who bowl their deliveries at high speeds of over 90 mph, (145 km/h) Ferret an exceptionally poor batsman , even more so than a rabbit . Named because the ferret goes in after the rabbits.
Fielder a player on the fielding side who is neither the bowler nor the wicket-keeper , in particular one who has just fielded the ball.
five or more wickets taken by a bowler in an innings , considered a very good performance. Abbreviated from the usual form of writing bowling statistics e.g. a bowler who takes 5 wickets and concdes 117 runs is said to have figures of "5 for 117". Sometimes called a "Michelle", in honour of the actress .
adjective describing positions on the field close to the line of the pitch ( wicket-to-wicket ); the opposite of square .
First-class cricket
the senior form of the game; usually county, state or international. First-class matches consist of two innings per side and are usually played over three or more days.
Flat throw
a ball thrown by the fielder which is almost horizontal to the ground. Considered to be a hallmark of good fielding if the throw is also accurate.
Flat-track bully
a batsman high in the batting order who is very good only when the pitch is not giving the bowlers much help. In England, the phrase became particularly, and unfairly, associated with Graeme Hick .
a gentle movement of the wrist to move the bat, often associated with shots on the leg side .
A delivery which is thrown up at a more arched trajectory by a spinner . Considered to be good bowling. Also loop .
a leg spin delivery with under-spin , so it bounces lower than normal, invented by Clarrie Grimmett .
a delivery bowled by a spinner that travels in a highly arched path appearing to 'float' in the air.
Follow on the team batting second continuing for their second innings , having fallen short of the "follow on target" (200 runs behind the first teams score in a 5 day game, 150 runs in a 4 day game, 100 runs in a 3 day event and 75 in a single day).
Follow through
a bowler's or batsman's body actions after bowling/batting to stabilise their body.
The necessary (foot) steps that a batsman has to take so as to be at a comfortable distance from where the ball has pitched, just right enough to hit the ball anywhere he desires, negating any spin or swing that a bowler attempts to extract after bouncing.
Four a shot that passes over the boundary after bouncing, so called because it scores four runs to the batting side.
Free hit a penalty given in some forms of cricket when a bowler bowls a no-ball . The bowler must bowl another delivery, and the batsman cannot be out off that delivery (except by being run out ).
French cricket
an informal form of the game.
French Cut
(also Chinese Cut or Surrey cut ) an inside edge which misses hitting the stumps by a few centimetres.
Front-foot shot
a shot played with the batsman's weight on his front foot (i.e. the foot nearest the bowler ).
Full length
a delivery that pitches closer to the batsman than a ball pitching on a good length , but further away than a half-volley .
Full toss a delivery that reaches the batsman on the full, i.e. without bouncing. Usually considered a bad delivery to bowl as the batsman has a lot of time to see the ball and play an attacking shot . Also, it does not have a chance to change direction off the ground, making it the ultimate crime for a spin or seam bowler.


Gardening a facetious term used to describe a batsman prodding at the pitch with his bat , either to flatten a bump in the pitch , or simply to waste time or upset the rhythm of the bowler .
the shot played very fine behind the batsman on the leg side
Golden duck
a batsman who gets out for zero runs off the first ball he faces.
Golden pair
(also King pair )  a batsman who gets out for zero runs off the first ball he faces in both innings of a two-innings match (such as a Test match or other first-class match).
Good length
the ideal place for a stock delivery to pitch in its trajectory from the bowler to the batsman . It makes the batsman uncertain whether to play a front-foot or back-foot shot . A good length differs from bowler to bowler , based on the type and speed of the bowler .
a deceptive spinning delivery by a leg spin bowler , also known (particularly in Australia) as the wrong 'un . For a right-hander bowler and a right-handed batsman , a googly will turn from the off side to the leg side. Developed by Bosanquet around 1900 .
batting defensively with strong emphasis on not getting out, often under difficult conditions.
the rubber casings used on the handle of the bat .
a person responsible for maintaining the cricket field and preparing the pitch .
(Taking) Guard
term used to denote the batsman aligning his bat according to the stump (or between stumps ) chosen behind him.
a close fielder near the slip fielders.


Hat-trick a bowler taking a wicket off each of three consecutive deliveries that he bowls (whether in the same over or split up in two consecutive overs , or two overs in two different spells , or indeed in two consecutive matches).
Hat-trick ball
A delivery bowled after taking two wickets with the previous two deliveries. The captain will usually set a very attacking field for a hat-trick ball, to maximise the chances of the bowler taking a hat-trick.
a delivery that bounces just short of the block hole . Usually easy to drive or glance away.
Hit wicket
a batsman getting out by dislodging the bails of the wicket behind him either with his bat or body as he tries to play the ball.
a shot , similar to a pull , but played so that the ball is struck when it is above the batsman's shoulder.
"How's that?"
(or "Howzat?")  the cry of a fielding team when appealing .


In said of a batsman who is presently batting.
In-dipper a delivery that curves into the batsman before pitching .
the region of the field that lies inside the 30 yard circle (27 m).
a delivery that curves into the batsman after pitching.
one player's or one team's turn to bat (or bowl). Unlike in baseball , and perhaps somewhat confusingly, in cricket the term "innings" is both singular and plural.
Innings average an alternative statistic to the batting average , calculated by dividing the batsman's total score over several innings by the number of innings (irrespective of whether the batsman was out or not).


Jaffa An exceptionally well bowled delivery, usually from a fast bowler.


Kwik cricket an informal form of the game, specifically designed to introduce children to the sport.
King pair
(also Golden pair )  a batsman who gets out for zero runs off the first ball he faces in both innings of a two-innings match (such as a Test match or other first-class match).


Leading edge When playing a cross-bat shot such as a pull , when the ball hits the front edge of the bat as opposed to its face. Often results in an easy catch for the bowler or a skier for someone else.
(a) Leave
the action of the batsman not attempting to play at the ball. He may do this by holding the bat above his body. However, there is an LBW clause making him more susceptible to getting out by this type. He may also not claim any byes .
Leg before wicket
(LBW)  a way of dismissing the batsman . The batsman is out if, in the opinion of the umpire , the ball hits any part of the batsman's body (usually the leg) before hitting the bat and would have gone on to hit the stumps .
Leg break a leg spin delivery which, for a right-hander bowler and a right-handed batsman , will turn from the leg side to the off side (usually away from the batsman ).
Leg bye
runs taken after a delivery hits any part of the body of the batsman other than the bat or the gloved hand that holds the bat . If the batsman makes no attempt to play the ball with the bat, leg byes may not be scored.
Leg cutter
a break delivery bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler with similar action to a spin bowler , but at a faster pace. The ball breaks from the leg-side to the off side of the batsman .
Leg side the half of the field to the rear of the batsman as he takes strike (also known as the on side ).
Leg spin
a form of bowling in which the bowler imparts spin on the ball by turning the wrist as the ball is delivered, and for that reason also known as "wrist spin". The usual stock delivery for a leg spinner is a leg break , but other leg spin deliveries include the googly, the chinaman , the top spinner , and the flipper . The term leg spinner is usually reserved for right handed bowlers who bowl in this manner. Left handers are described as orthodox or unorthodox .
Leg theory
another name for bodyline bowling.
the place along the pitch where a delivery bounces (see short pitched , good length , half-volley , full toss ).
Limited overs match a one-innings match where each side may only face a set number of overs. Another name for one-day cricket .
the deviation of the point along the pitch where a delivery bounces from the line from wicket-to-wicket (to the leg side or the off side ).
Line and length bowling
bowling so that a delivery pitches on a good length and just outside off stump . This forces the batsman to play a shot as the ball may hit the stumps .
List A cricket the limited-overs equivalent of first-class cricket .
Long hop
a delivery that is much too short to be a good length delivery , but without the sharp lift of a bouncer . Usually considered a bad delivery to bowl as the batsman has a lot of time to see the ball and play an attacking shot . Loop the curved path of the ball bowled by a spinner .
a poor delivery bowled at the start of a bowler's spell.
Lower order
the batsmen who bat at between roughly number 7 and 10 or 11 in the batting order and who are not very good at batting, being either specialist bowlers or wicket-keepers with limited batting ability.
Luncheon the first of the two intervals taken during a full day's play is known as the luncheon interval, because it usually occurs at lunchtime at about 12:30.


Maiden over an over in which no runs are scored, and no wides or no balls are bowled.
A bar graph showing the runs scored off each over in an one day game. The graph will also usually show in which overs wickets fell. So called because the bars supposedly resemble the skyscrapers that dominate the skyline of Manhattan .
the running out a non-striking batsman who leaves his crease before the bowler has released the ball. It is named after Vinoo Mankad , an Indian bowler, who controversially used this method in a Test match.
Marylebone Cricket Club
("MCC")  the custodian of the Laws of Cricket .
Match fixing
bribing players of one of the teams to deliberately play poorly, with the intention of cashing in on bets on the result of the game.
Match referee
an official whose role is to ensure that the spirit of the game is upheld. He has the power to fine players and/or teams for unethical play.
a medium-pace bowler bowls slower than a pace bowler , but faster than a spin bowler . Speed is important to the medium-pacer, but they try and defeat the batsman with the movement of the ball, rather than the pace at which it is bowled. Medium-pacers either bowl cutters or rely on the ball to swing in the air. They usually bowl at between 55 and 70mph.
Middle of the bat
the area of the face of the bat that imparts maximum power to a shot if that part of the bat hits the ball. Also known as the "meat" of the bat. Is effectively the same as the sweet spot ; however, a shot that has been "middled" usually means one that is hit with great power as well as timing .
Middle order
The batsmen who bat at between roughly number 5 and 8 in the batting order . Can include some all-rounders , a wicket-keeper who can bat a bit but not enough to be considered a wicket-keeper/batsman , and specialist bowlers with some skill at batting.
A mis-field occurs when a fielder fails to collect the ball cleanly, often fumbling the ball or dropping a catch.
Mixed bag
an all round bowler.


Negative bowling a persistent line of bowling down the leg-side of a batsman to stymie the batsman from scoring (particularly in Test matches ).
a score of 111, either of a team or an individual batsman , regarded by some as unlucky; the superstitious custom is for the batting team off the pitch (and umpire David Shepherd) each to take one foot off the ground. The name was coined in the mistaken belief that Lord Nelson had one eye, one arm and one leg: in fact, he had two legs. Double-Nelson is 222, etc.
Nervous nineties
The period of batsman's innings when his or her score is between 90 and 99. During this phase many players bat extremely cautiously in order to avoid being out before they obtain a century . Net run rate ("NRR")  This is the run rate scored by the winning team subtracted by run rate scored by losing team. The winning team gets positive value, losing team the negative value. In a series, the mean of the NRR for all matches played by the team is taken.
a poor batsman sent in when the light is dimming in order to protect more valuable batsman .
No ball
an illegal delivery , usually because of the bowler overstepping the popping crease .
the batsman standing at the bowling end.
Not out
a batsman who is in and has been not yet been dismissed , particularly when play has ceased.
to score runs by gently nudging the ball into vacant areas of the field.


ODI A one-day international match; a one-day cricket match between two national sides.
Off break
a off spin delivery which, for a right-hander bowler and a right-handed batsman , will turn from the off side to the leg side (usually into the batsman ).
Off cutter a break delivery bowled by a fast or medium-pace bowler with similar action to a spin bowler , but at a faster pace. The ball breaks from the off-side to the leg side of the batsman .
Off side
("off")  the half of the pitch furthest from the batsman's body as he takes strike - i.e. the right half for a right-handed batsman and the left for a left-hander.
Off spin
a form of bowling in which the bowler imparts spin on the ball with the fingers as the ball is delivered, and for that reason also known as "finger spin". The usual stock delivery for an off spinner is an off break , but other off spin deliveries includes the arm ball and the doosra . The term off spinner is usually reserved for right handed bowlers who bowl in this manner. Left handers are described as orthodox or unorthodox .
On side
("on")  the half of the pitch nearest the batsman's body as he takes strike i.e. the left half for a right-handed batsman and the right for a left-hander (also known as the leg side ).
One-day cricket
an abbreviated form of the game, with just one innings per team, usually with a limited number of overs and played over one day.
One down
a batsman who bats at #3, a crucial position in the team's batting innings.
One short
the term used when a batsman fails to make contact with the ground beyond the popping crease, and turns back for an additional run .
In batting, a batsman skilled at batting at the beginning of an innings , when the ball is new. In bowling, it refers to the bowlers who open the innings . They are usually the fastest bowlers in the side.
  1. shots played in the accepted "textbook" manner, and batsmen who play in this manner.
  2. a left arm spin bowler who spins the ball with his fingers. This imparts spin in the same direction as a right-handed leg spin bowler. See: Left-arm orthodox spin .
Orange a very fast ball bowled, above 160 km/h (100 mph)
the state of a batsman who has been dismissed .
Out dipper
a dipper that curves away from the batsman before pitching.
Out swing
a delivery bowled that curves away from the batsman after pitching.
the part of the field lying outside the 30 yard (27 m) circle measured from the centre of the pitch .
the delivery of six consecutive balls by one bowler.
The action of bowling with your arm swinging from behind the body to over the head and then releasing the ball on the down swing without bending the elbow. This type of bowling is the only type allowed in all official cricket matches. Compare with underarm .
Overpitched delivery
a delivery that is full pitched but not a yorker, bouncing just in front of the batsman. Considered a poor delivery, as it easy for the batsman to get the middle of the bat to the ball. An overpitched ball is often a half-volley .
Over rate
number of overs bowled per hour.
Over the wicket
the term used to denote that a right-handed bowler is bowling to the left of the umpire, and vice-versa for a left-handed bowler.
the scoring of extra runs due to an errant throw from a fielder. Occasionally used erroneously for any runs scored after a fielder mis-fields the ball.


Pace bowling (also "fast bowling")  the type of bowlers who use pace (speed) to get batsman out. Pace bowlers also use swing .
protective equipment for batsmen and wicket-keepers , covering the legs.
(A) Pair
a "pair of spectacles" (0-0). A batsman getting out for zero runs in both innings of a two-innings match a two-innings match (such as a Test match or other first-class match).
the number of runs scored between a pair of batsmen before one of them gets dismissed. This also includes the deliveries faced and time taken.
Pinch-hitter a lower order batsman promoted up the batting order to increase the run rate . The term is borrowed from baseball . Pitch
  1. the rectangular clay surface in the centre of the field where all the action takes place.
  2. the spot where the ball lands on the pitch before bouncing.
  3. of a ball, to bounce.
Placement the term used to denote the ball hit, such that it bisects or trisects the fielders placed on the field. The ball usually ends up being a four .
Playing on for the batsman to hit the ball with his bat but only succeed in diverting it onto the stumps . The batsman is thus out, bowled .
A very easy decision for an umpire to give a batsman out — LBW , leaving no doubt in a viewer's mind.
Powerplay Fives For a three ODI series between England and Australia starting on 7 July 2005 and for a 10-month trial period beginning on 31 July 2005 in ODIs the fielding captain must designate two five over blocks in which fielding restrictions apply. Additional fielding restrictions will apply to the first ten overs as well. The two blocks of five overs with fielding restrictions are known as Powerplay Fives.
Primary Club
a charitable association for any batsman who has ever been out first ball (in other words, for everyone). See The Primary Club web site.
a shot played to the leg side to a short-pitched delivery , between mid-wicket and backward square-leg.


Quota the total number of overs (maximum 10) allotted to a bowler in an ODI match.


Rabbit a particularly bad batsman , usually a specialist bowler . In the sport of cricket , the last few batsmen (the tailenders), if especially incompetent at batting, are known as "rabbits". A "rabbit" often seems unsure of how he should even 'hold' his bat, as typified by Phil Tufnell , Allan Donald and Glenn McGrath . The term is also used for a higher order batsman who is out frequently to the same bowler; Mike Atherton is sometimes described by commentators as "Glenn McGrath's bunny". See also ferret .
Rain rule
any of various methods of determining which team wins a rain-shortened one-day match. The current preferred method is the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Red cherry
a nickname for the red cricket ball
Rest day
a non-playing day in the middle of a multiple day game.
for a batsman to voluntarily leave the field during his innings , usually because of injury. A player who retires through injury ("retired hurt") may return in the same innings, and continue where he left off. A player who is uninjured ("retired out") may return only with the opposing captain's consent.
Reverse Sweep
a right handed batsman sweeping the ball like a left handed batsman and vice-versa.
Reverse swing
The art of swinging the ball contrary to how a normal seam bowling moves in the air.
a large roller used to flatten the pitch before play.
Roundarm bowling
the type of bowling action in which the bowler's outstretched hand is perpendicular to his body when he releases the ball. Round arm bowling is legal in cricket.
Run out
dismissal by a member of the fielding side breaking the wicket while the batsman is outside his/her crease in the process of making a run.
a player of the batting side assisting an injured batsman in running between the wickets.
Run rate
the average number of runs scored per over.


Seam the stitching on the ball.
Seam bowling
Using the uneven conditions of the ball -- specifically the raised seam -- to make it deviate upon bouncing off the pitch . See seam bowling . Contrast with swing bowling .
Shooter a delivery that skids after pitching (i.e. doesn't bounce as high as would be expected), usually at a quicker pace, resulting in a batsman unable to hit the ball cleanly.
a delivery that bounces relatively close to the bowler . The intent is to make the ball bounce well above waist height (a bouncer ). A slow or low-bouncing short-pitched ball is known as a long hop .
the act of the batsman hitting the ball with his bat.
a large board placed behind the bowler , beyond the boundary , used to provide contrast to the ball, thereby aiding the striker to see the ball when it is delivered.
Used as a modifier to the names of some fielding positions to denote that they are unusually close to the batsman, most often silly mid-off, silly mid-on, silly midwicket and silly point.
a run scored by the batsmen physically running once only between the wickets .
Six (or Sixer)  a shot which passes over the boundary without having bounced, so called because it scores six runs to the batting side.
(pronounced Sky-er ) A mis-timed shot hit almost straight up in the air, to the sky. Usually results in the batsman being caught. Occasionally however the fielder positions himself perfectly to take the catch but misses it or drops it. Such an error is considered very embarrassing for the fielder.
A verbal abuse in simple terms or a psychological tactic in more complex terms. Used by cricketers both on and off the field to gain advantage of the opposition by frustrating them and breaking the concentration of the opposition. Considered strongly against the spirit of the game.
a kind of cut shot played with the bat making an obtuse angle with the batsman.
a close fielder behind the batsman , next to the wicket-keeper .
a powerful shot , usually hit in the air in an attempt to score a six , often without too much concern for proper technique.
a batsman who hits a lot of slogs . Derogatory.
Slog overs
 : the final 10 overs (particularly the last five) in a ODI match during which batsmen play aggressively scoring at a very fast rate.
Slog sweep
a sweep shot hit hard and in the air, over the same boundary as for a hook . Used exclusively against spin bowlers .
Slower ball
a medium-pace delivery bowled by a fast bowler . Designed to deceive the batsman into playing the ball too early and skying it to a fielder. Has several variations.
a slight deviation of the ball off the edge of the bat. Top, bottom, inside and outside edges denote the four edges of the bat.
  1. the number of continuous overs a bowler bowls before being relieved.
  2. the total number of overs that a bowler bowls in an innings .
Spin bowling a spin bowler ("spinner") attempts to deceive the batsman by imparting spin on the ball using either their fingers or their wrist. Spin bowling is most effective when the ball is travelling relatively slowly, and so most spinners bowl at a pace between 40 and 55mph.
the joint between the handle and the blade of a bat . The weakest part of the bat. If the ball hits the splice it is likely to dolly up for an easy catch .
  1. adjective describing positions on the field perpendicular to the line of the pitch; the opposite of fine ..
  2. the area in the middle of the ground where the pitches are prepared.
(Batting) Stance The unique posture that batsman stands and holds his bat before facing a delivery.
Sticky wicket
a difficult wet pitch .
The batsman who faces the deliveries bowled.
Strike rate
  1. (batting) a percentage equal to the number of runs scored by a batsman divided by the number of balls faced.
  2. (bowling) the average number of ' deliveries bowled before a bowler takes a wicket .
Stroke an attempt by the batsman to play at a delivery.
  1. one of the three vertical posts making up the wicket ("off stump", "middle stump" and "leg stump"),
  2. a way of dismissing a batsman , or
  3. ("stumps") the end of a day's play.
Surrey Cut (also Chinese Cut or French cut ) an inside edge which misses hitting the stumps by a few centimetres. Sweep a shot played to a good length slow delivery . The batsman gets down on one knee and "sweeps" the ball to the leg side .
Sweet spot
the small area on the face of the bat that gives maximum power for minimum effort when the ball is hit with it. Also known as the "middle" or "meat" of the bat. A shot that is struck with the sweet spot is referred to as being "well timed" (see timing ).
a bowling style usually employed by fast and medium-pace bowlers . The fielding side will polish the ball on one side of the seam only: as the innings continues, the ball will become worn on one side, but shiny on the other. When the ball is bowled with the seam upright, the air will travel faster over the shiny side than the polished side. This makes ball will swing (curve) in the air, usually after pitching . See swing bowling.
under one-day international rules introduced in July 2005, any player may be substituted for the twelfth man, with the substitute able to take over the substituted players batting and bowling duties. A twelfth man used as a substitute in this way is known as the supersub. The first supersub was when Vikram Solanki was named as a supersub for Simon Jones at Headingley on 7 July 2005 . However, as Solanki replaced Jones after England had bowled, and England only lost one wicket in chasing down Australia's target, Solanki did not get to play any part in the game.


Tail-ender a batsman who bats towards the end of the batting order , usually a specialist bowler or wicket-keeper with relatively poor batting skills. The last of the tailenders are colloquially known as "rabbits".
the second of the two intervals during a full day's play is known as the tea interval, due to its timing at about tea-time. In matches lasting only an afternoon, the tea interval is usually taken between innings .
Tea towel explanation
a popular comic explanation of the laws of cricket.
Test match
A cricket match with play spread over five days with unlimited overs played between two senior international teams. Considered the highest level of the game.
Third umpire
an off-field umpire , equipped with a television monitor, whose assistance the two on-field umpires can seek when in doubt.
Through the gate
When a batsman is bowled by the ball passing between his bat and his pads before hitting the wicket , he is said to have been bowled through the gate.
Tie when both teams end up making an identical score when the game is declared over.
Timed match
a match whose duration is based on a set amount of time rather than a set number of overs. Timed matches usually have a draw as a potential result, in addition to the win/loss or tie that can be achieved in limited overs cricket . First-class cricket consists of timed matches.
the art of striking the ball so that it hits the bat's sweet spot . A "well-timed" shot imparts great speed to the ball but appears effortless.
a century scored by a batsman in an innings .
Top order
The batsmen batting at number 3 and 4 (and sometimes at 5 as well) in the batting order.
Top spin
a delivery which has a rotation forwards so that after pitching it immediately increases speed.
a reliable, steady medium-pace bowler who is not especially good, but is not especially bad either.
Twelfth man
traditionally, the first substitute player who fields when a member of the fielding side is injured. In Test matches , twelve players are named to a team prior to the match, with the final reduction to eleven occurring immediately prior to play commencing on the first day. This gives the captain some flexibility in team selection, dependent on the conditions (e.g. a spin bowler may be named to the team, but omitted if the captain feels that the pitch is not suitable for spin bowling).
A twenty-overs-a-side game. When played between two Test nations, the term used is Twenty20 International.


Umpire the enforcer of the rules and adjudicator of play.
The action of bowling with your arm swinging from behind the body in a downswing arc and then releasing the ball on the up swing without bending the elbow. This type of bowling is now illegal in formal cricket. It is commonly played in informal types of cricket. Some people compare it to "Throwing like a girl." Compare with overarm.
(also back-spin ) a delivery which has a rotation backwards so that after pitching it immediately slows down.
  1. a shot played not in the accepted "textbook" manner, often with a degree of improvisation.
  2. a left arm spin bowler who spins the ball with his wrist. This imparts spin in the same direction as a right-handed off spin bowler. See: Left-arm unorthodox spin .


(The) Vee An imaginary inverted V-shaped area on the ground at which the batsman stands at the apex. This area is the most productive area to score runs as there are relatively fewer fielders placed here. Also the vee of a bat: the V-shaped joint between the lower end of the handle and the blade of the bat (see also splice ).


Wagon wheel A pie chart modelled on the cricket ground, depicting a batsman's favourite scoring areas.
(to) Walk
The act of a batsman walking off the pitch, knowing or believing that he is out, rather than waiting for an umpire to give him out (avoiding the chance that the umpire may give him the benefit of the doubt regarding a dismissal if the umpire is not certain that the batsman is out).
any one of:
  1. a set of stumps and bails ,
  2. the pitch , or
  3. the dismissal of a batsman .
Wicket-keeper the player on the fielding side who stands immediately behind the batting end wicket . A specialist position, used throughout the game.
a wicket-keeper who is also a very good batsman , capable of opening the batting or at least making good scores in the top order.
Wicket maiden
a maiden over in which the bowler also dismisses a batsman . A double wicket maiden if two wickets are taken, and so on.
Wicket-to-wicket a imaginary line connecting the two wickets .
a delivery that passes illegally wide of the wicket .
An increasing linear line graph, plotted between the over number (x-axis) vs. runs scored by a team till that particular over.
Wrong 'un
another name for a googly .


Yorker a (usually fast) delivery that is pitched right up to the batsman . The intent is for it to bounce exactly underneath his bat or on his toes, in the block hole . A perfectly-pitched fast yorker is almost impossible to keep out; a bad yorker can turn into a half-volley or a full toss.


Zooter a variation of the flipper bowled by a leg-break bowler.

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