CRICKET, IN BRIEF

There's a ball and a bat. That's about as close to baseball as cricket gets.

The game is played in the middle of a field, and the ball is in play in a complete circle around the two batsman. There are 11 players on a team - a batting side and a fielding (bowling) side.

Bowlers (pitchers) are used alternately from each end, bowling an "over" of six fair balls. (After the bowler has delivered his six balls, the umpire tells him his six bowls are "over.")

There are two batsmen at two wickets, which is a grouping of three 28-inch-high "stumps" with 4-inch wooden strips (bails) resting across the top of them. One batsmen is in play at all times. The batsmen try to hit the ball and prevent the bowler from knocking the bails off the stumps.

If the ball hits the stumps, the batter is out. (There are nine other ways to get the bowler out.) In one-day matches there are 50 overs or 300 balls.

If a batsman hits the ball, both batsmen run between the wickets, which are 22 yards apart.

Every lap the batters run is one run. A ball hit to the stadium wall, called the boundary, is an automatic four runs. A ball hit into the stands on the fly is worth six runs.

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