The objective:Like all sports, there are two sides. One side elects to bat, the other side elects to bowl. The order is decided by a coin toss. The objective of the game is to outscore your opponent to win. If you are batting first, you want to post a high-enough total so you can defend it. If you are batting second, you want to chase the target. Unlike baseball, a one-day game has only one inning a side. Test matches function a little bit differently, but we will not worry about them in this post. Every thing said in this post will implicitly assume we are talking about one-day games. Simple so far?
As the diamond is to baseball, the pitch is to cricket. The pitch is a rectangular patch of soil/mud/grass in the middle of a stadium. On two ends of the pitch are three wooden stakes driven into the ground, called stumps. The bastsman's goal is to protect these stumps; the bowler's to blow them away. Since a picture says a thousand words (or whatever), here is a graphical representation
|A bunch of old fogies playing cricket on a pitch|
Dramatis personae: Two batsmen, one bowler, and a bunch of fielders. The bowlers bowl overs (each over is six balls) and each side gets 50 overs an inning. Their job is to get outs. The bastmen's job is to outfox these wily rascals and score runs. Oh, and umpires. I guess they are pretty important. Two on-field umpires, one TV umpire. There is also someone called the match referee but I don't think anyone (including the said official) knows what his job actually is. There is some suspicion the job is entirely made-up. Moving on.
How to score: Every time the batsman reaches the other side (and correspondingly, his partner at the other end reaches his end), a run is scored. Other ways to score runs are to hit the ball to the boundary (the edge of the field). If the ball goes into the stands (like a home run), that's six runs. If it crosses the boundary any other way, that's four runs.
How to out: Each side has 11 wickets (or outs, if you will) and a batsman is out if any of the following things happen:
1. The stumps get knocked out
2. The ball he hits is caught (by any player on the field)
3. He is trying to run a run and fails to reach the other end safely
There are few other ways as well, but they are not as important.
A bit haphazard I realize (let's blame my smashing birthday party last night for this disorganization), but I think the information is all solid.
More parts to follow, as I feel like it.
Now I am off to enjoy the kickoff of an absolutely awesome and spectacular world cup opener and co-hosts India and Bangladesh clash in Dhaka. Woot Woot.