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Betting on Cricket

There are three forms of cricket that are played at the professional level:

Test Cricket – this form takes place over a maximum five days, a much more strategical and tactical form of cricket. Both sides are allowed two innings each, but sometimes only need one.

One-Day International (ODI) – takes place over one day, one innings of 50 overs per side. Much faster pace than the Test format.

Twenty20 – The most explosive and entertaining form of the sport. Each team has one innings of 20 overs per side.

So what markets can you bet on?

Match Winner – So just like all other sports, the most popular market for betting will be the outright winner of the game. Now unless there is an outright favourite, you can get some decent value of around EVENS. For example, India very rarely loses a test match in their own country due to conditions. So when they’re playing a decent side such as Australia in India, you can find some good value.

Highest scoring batsman – So with up to eleven batsmen potentially going out to the middle. Having to pick one who’s going to get the highest score is always a tricky one. The majority of the time it’s going to be someone in the top order. But even for the team’s best batter, you are looking at around 9/4 for them to top score.

Highest opening partnership – This means you have to choose which team you think are going to score the most runs before they lose their first wicket. Again you can expect to get odds of just under EVENS. Which if you study the teams opening pair, is a good chance to make money.

Method of next wicket – As you will see below, there are several ways that a batsman can be dismissed. Some are more common than others, for example In a test match a lot of wickets will be catches due to the way it’s played with the big slip cordons. The odds are usually quite short for that at around 8/15. But if you think it will be a different method you can usually bet on “any other dismissal” which covers you for everything other than caught. That’s usually priced at around 11/8

Outcome of next ball – You can actually go as fine as betting on what will happen every ball. In test matches there are lots of dot (zero runs) balls, so you don’t get much value there at about 1/4. However, in twenty20’s teams look to score every ball, so you could potentially back a four to be scored and get plenty of value.

Who will win the toss – This is a market which doesn’t require any knowledge of the sport really. But if you’re feeling lucky you can back which team you think will win the coin toss pre-match at a fixed price of 10/11

The Ground

Cricket is played on an oval-shaped pitch, in the middle of the pitch is a what is usually a light strip called the wicket, which is where the batting and bowling occurs. The wicket is 22 yards in length and will be worked on by the groundsman every day throughout the season to make it suitable for the teams. The usual preference is for it to be as hard as possible.

At either end of the wicket is what are known as stumps or wickets, three poles impaled into the ground, with two smaller pieces balanced on top known as bails. A white line is marked in front of each set of wickets, this is called the crease and defines which area within which the batsman and bowler can operate.

The Teams

Each team is made up eleven players, however teams often have what is known as a twelfth men. He will only be involved if one of the players needs to leave the field for a brief amount of time.

Teams take it in turns to bat and field, as referred to in ‘forms of cricket’ above, these are known as innings.

The Basics

A coin toss is used to decide which team will bat and which will field. The captain who wins the coin toss has the choice of which his time will do first. The objective of the batting team is to score as many runs as possible while the bowling team does what they can to get the batsman out.

Batting team

Runs are scored by the batter hitting the ball and then running up and down the wicket. Each time each batsman gets safely to the other end it classes as one run. If the ball goes all the way to the boundary rope (edge of the pitch), it either counts as four or six runs. If it has bounced before beating the boundary then it’s four, whereas if it clears the rope without a bounce it’s six runs. The recognised landmarks for batters are every 50 runs. When a batsman gets out, they must leave the field and the next batsman in the batting order comes out to replace them. An innings is over when the tenth batsman is out or when the captain decides to end the innings.

Bowling/Fielding team

The job of the fielding side is to prevent the batsmen from scoring runs by getting them ‘out’. They stand in positions where the captain thinks they are most likely to catch or stop runs. A bowler at each end will bowl six legal balls (an over). ‘Wide balls’ or ‘no balls’ are counted as illegal and therefore must be bowled again. Each time an illegal bowl is bowled, the batting side get an extra run.

How a batsman can get ‘out’

Bowled – The bowler bowls a ball that goes past the batsman and hits the stumps, dislodging the bails

Caught – The batsman hits the ball into the air and is caught by a fielder before it hits the ground

Handled ball – The batsman obstructs the ball from hitting the wicket by picking it up

Hit ball twice – The batsman hits the ball twice

Hit wicket – The batsman hits their own stumps and dislodges the bails

Leg before wicket (LBW) – The bowler bowls a ball that would have hit the stumps and dislodged the bails had the batsman’s pads not been in the way

Obstructed field – The batsman deliberately tries to prevent a fielder either taking a catch or throwing down the stumps

Run out – The batsman fails to make it back behind the crease before the opposing team has dislodged the bails with the cricket ball, either thrown or held in the hand

Stumped – The batsman steps out of their crease to strike the ball, misses, and before they can step back the wicket keeper dislodges the bails with the cricket ball in hand

Timed out – The batsman fails to come out to bat within three minutes of the fall of the wicket

Once the tenth batsman is out, the innings is then over.