When the fielding side has bowled the allotted number of overs, the batting side's innings is complete, no matter how many wickets remain. If the batting side loses 10 wickets before its allotted overs are bowled, the innings also ends. Note that because each innings is completed, the match cannot end in a draw. It can, however, end in a tie if both sides score the same number of runs.

A typical one-day match is scheduled as follows:

- The first 50-over innings - scheduled for 3.5 hours of play.
- A 45-minute meal break.
- The second 50-over innings - another 3.5 hours.

If a fielding side does not complete its 50 overs within the scheduled 3.5 hours, various penalties apply, depending on the governing body administrating the match. These may include:

- Monetary fines for the fielding side.
- Overs removed from the allotment to be bowled when the side bats.
- Penalty runs awarded to the batting side.

A field restriction circle is drawn on the field, made of two semi-circles of radius 27.34m (30 yards) centred on the wickets, joined by parallel lines running parallel to the pitch.

- During the first 15 overs of a 50-over innings:
- Only two fielders may be outside the circle when the bowler delivers the ball.
- Two fielders must be in stationary positions close to the batsman, primarily as catchers rather than run-savers.

- During the remainder of a 50-over innings:
- Only five fielders may be outside the circle when the bowler delivers the ball.

- If rain interrupts only the innings of the side batting second, the number of overs available to it are reduced. Therefore, the target score for the side batting second needs to be reduced to compensate.
- If rain interrupts the innings of the side batting first, thus reducing its number of overs, it is likely to have
scored fewer runs than if it had
*known*it had fewer overs to bat, because of batting more conservatively in order to not lose wickets. Therefore, the target score for the side batting second needs to be increased to compensate. - If rain interrupts both innings, then both these calculations need to be applied to work out an appropriate target score for the side batting second.

Rain interruption recalculations are only considered to give a result if both sides manage to either be bowled out or bat for at least a minimum number of overs, such as 25 overs each. If any side is not bowled out and cannot face the minimum required number of overs, then neither side wins and the match is declared a no result.

Once this problem was recognised, various methods of adjusting the target score to provide a more fair result were trialled, but none was deemed satisfactory until Duckworth and Lewis invented their method.

One-day internationals are a relatively new form of cricket - the first ODI was played in 1971 between Australia and England.

Once every four years, the International Cricket Council organises the Cricket World Cup, which involves every Test nation as well as a few emerging cricket nations in a single tournament to determine the World Champion of one-day cricket. (There is no similar tournament for Test cricket, since the duration of each game makes a multi-side tournament prohibitively lengthy.)

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