Cricket is played between two teams of up to 11 players each. Each team bats in turn, the choice for who bats first is decided by tossing a coin.
The centre of the action is a pitch 22 yards long(20metres) with wickets (three bits of wood called stumps) placed at each end, though a shorter pitch can be used by children, but people play outside this area as well.
Two batsmen play together to score runs against the fielding side. The bowlers tries to make it hard for the batter to hit the ball.
The fielding captain decides which of his players will bowl (throw the ball). Each bowler bowls an “over” of six overarm deliveries from one end of the pitch, then the play changes so that one “over” is bowled alternately from each end of the pitch. No bowler can deliver two overs in succession.
The score is counted by “runs”, which are the number of times the batsmen run from end to end of the area between the two “popping creases” – lines across the pitch four feet(3.5 metres) from each wicket. Runs are usually the result of a hit by the bat; a hit across the boundary scores four runs, or six if it crosses without touching the ground.
The batsman will be out if you can bowl them out, they are caught off the bat, leg before wicket, stumped by the wicketkeeper and the run out of either batsman while attempting a run. When a batsman is out the next person bats.
In cricket, a team’s innings usually lasts until 10 of the 11 batsmen in the team are out, leaving the not out batsman without a partner so they cannot continue to play.
A match consists of one or two innings by each team. Whoever gets the most “runs” wins.
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