Objective and results
Cricket is a bat and ball sport. The objective of the game is to score more runs than the opposing team. A match is divided into innings during which one team bats and one team fields. The word “innings” is both singular and plural in cricket usage.
If the team batting last is dismissed while their total score is n runs less than that of their opponents, they are said to have lost by n runs. If, in a two-innings match, one team is dismissed twice with a combined first- and second-innings score less than their opponents’ first-innings score, then the winning team has no requirement to bat again and they are said to have won by an innings and n runs, where n is the difference in score between the teams. If the team batting last is dismissed with the scores exactly equal then the match is a tie; a tie is a rare result, particularly in matches of two innings a side. If the team batting last reaches their target, they are said to have won by n wickets, where n is the number of wickets the opposition still needed to take in order to dismiss them. If the time allotted for the match finishes before either side can win, then the game is a draw.
If the match has only a single innings per side then a maximum number of deliveries for each innings is often imposed. In this case the side scoring more runs wins regardless of the number of wickets lost, so that a draw cannot occur. If this kind of match is temporarily interrupted by bad weather, then a complex mathematical formula known as the Duckworth-Lewis method is often used to recalculate a new target score. A one-day match can be declared a “No-Result” if fewer than a previously agreed number of overs have been bowled by either team. This can occur if an interruption makes a resumption of play impossible, for example an extended period of bad weather.
Laws of cricket
The game is played in accordance with 42 laws of cricket, which have been developed by the Marylebone Cricket Club in discussion with the main cricketing nations. Teams may agree to alter some of the rules for particular games. Other rules supplement the main laws and change them to deal with different circumstances. In particular, there are a number of modifications to the playing structure and fielding position rules that apply to one innings games that are restricted to a set number of fair deliveries.