Test cricket is a game that spans over two innings. This means that one team needs to bowl the other team out twice and score more runs then them to win the match. Another key difference between test cricket and other forms of cricket is the length of the innings. In test cricket there is no limit to the innings length. Whereas in one day cricket & Twenty20 cricket there are a certain amount of overs per innings. The only limits in test cricket is a 5 day length. Before the game begins an official will toss a coin. The captain who guesses the correct side of the coin will then choose if they want to bat or field first. One team will then bat while the other will bowl & field. The aim of the batting team is to score runs while the aim of the fielding team is to bowl ten people out and close the batting teams’ innings. Although there are eleven people in each team only ten people need to be bowled out as you cannot have one person batting alone. Batting is done in pairs.
Once the first team has been bowled out the second team would then go into bat. Once the second team is then bowled out it would normally return to the first team batting again. However there is an exception to this in the cricket rules, it is called the follow-on. The follow-on is when the first team makes at least 200 runs more than the second team made (in a 5 day test match). This then gives the first team the option to make the second team bat again. This is particularly useful if the game is progressing slowly or affected by bad weather and there might not be enough time for both teams to play a full innings. Should this be the case the batting team’s captain also has the right to forfeit their innings at any time. This is called a declaration. Some may wonder why a captain would forfeit the opportunity for his team to bat. However if the game is coming close to a close and it looks like they will not be able to bowl the other team out again this could be an option. If one team is not bowled out twice and a winner determined in the five days of play the game is declared a draw. Therefore it may be worth declaring an innings to creat the possibility of a win rather than a draw.
Cricket Game Playing Area
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played on a cricket field (see image, right) between two teams of eleven players each. The field is usually circular or oval in shape and the edge of the playing area is marked by a boundary, which may be a fence, part of the stands, a rope, a painted line or a combination of these; the boundary must if possible be marked along its entire length.
In the approximate centre of the field is a rectangular pitch (see image, below) on which a wooden target called a wicket is sited at each end; the wickets are placed 22 yards (20 m) apart. The pitch is a flat surface 10 feet (3.0 m) wide, with very short grass that tends to be worn away as the game progresses (cricket can also be played on artificial surfaces, notably matting). Each wicket is made of three wooden stumps topped by two bails.
As illustrated above, the pitch is marked at each end with four white painted lines: a bowling crease, a popping crease and two return creases. The three stumps are aligned centrally on the bowling crease, which is eight feet eight inches long. The popping crease is drawn four feet in front of the bowling crease and parallel to it; although it is drawn as a twelve-foot line (six feet either side of the wicket), it is, in fact, unlimited in length. The return creases are drawn at right angles to the popping crease so that they intersect the ends of the bowling crease; each return crease is drawn as an eight-foot line, so that it extends four feet behind the bowling crease, but is also, in fact, unlimited in length.