Modes of Dismissal in Cricket
Here is a full list of the ten different ways of getting out. But first, a few necessary definitions:
The wicket is said to be broken if one or both of the bails have been dislodged and fallen to the ground. If the bails have fallen off for any reason and the ball is still in play, then breaking the wicket must be accomplished by pulling a stump completely out of the ground. If the wicket needs to be broken like this with the ball, the uprooting of the stump must be done with the ball in contact with the stump.
The field is notionally split into two halves, along a line down the centre of the pitch. The half of the field in front of the striker is called the off side, the half behind is called the leg side, or sometimes the on side. Thus, standing at the bowler’s wicket and looking towards a right-handed striker’s wicket, the off side is to the left and the leg side to the right (and vice-versa for a left-handed striker). The stumps of the striker’s wicket are called off stump, middle stump, and leg stump, depending on which side they are on.
When a batsman gets out, no matter by what method, his wicket is said to have fallen, and the fielding team are said to have taken a wicket.
Now, the ways of getting out:
If a fielder catches the ball on the full after the batsman has hit it with his bat. However, if the fielder catches the ball, but either during the catch or immediately afterwards touches or steps over the boundary, then the batsman scores six runs and is not out.
If the batsman misses the ball and it hits and breaks the wicket directly from the bowler’s delivery. The batsman is out whether or not he is behind his popping crease. He is also out bowled if the ball breaks the wicket after deflecting from his bat or body. The batsman is not out if the wicket does not break.
- Leg Before Wicket
If the batsman misses the ball with his bat, but intercepts it with part of his body when it would otherwise have hit the wicket, and provided several other conditions (described below) are satisfied. An umpire must adjudicate such a decision, and will only do so if the fielding team appeals the decision. This is a question asked of the umpire, usually of the form “How’s that?” (or “Howzat?”), and usually quite enthusiastic and loud. If the ball bounces outside an imaginary line drawn straight down the pitch from the outside edge of leg stump, then the batsman cannot be out LBW, no matter whether or not the ball would have hit the stumps.
If the batsman attempts to play a shot at the ball with his bat (and misses) he may only be given out LBW if the ball strikes the batsman between imaginary lines drawn down the pitch from the outside edges of leg and off stumps (ie. directly in line with the wicket). If the batsman does not attempt to play the ball with his bat, then he may be given out LBW without satisfying this condition, as long as the umpire is convinced the ball would have hit the wicket. If the ball has hit the bat before the hitting the batsman, then he cannot be given out LBW.
If a batsman misses the ball and in attempting to play it steps outside his crease, he is out stumped if the wicket-keeper gathers the ball and breaks the wicket with it before the batsman can ground part of his body or his bat behind his crease.
- Run Out
If a batsman is attempting to take a run, or to return to his crease after an aborted run, and a fielder breaks that batsman’s wicket with the ball while he is out of the crease. The fielder may either break the wicket with a hand which holds the ball, or with the ball directly. It is possible for the non-striker to be run out if the striker hits the ball straight down the pitch towards the non-striker’s wicket, and the bowler deflects the ball on to the wicket while the non-striker is out of his crease. If the ball is hit directly on to the non-striker’s wicket, without being touched by a fielder, then the non-striker is not out. If the non-striker leaves his crease (in preparation to run) while the bowler is running up, the bowler may run him out without bowling the ball. Batsmen cannot be run out while the ball is dead – so they may confer in the middle of the pitch between deliveries if they desire.
- Hit Wicket
If, in attempting to hit a ball or taking off for a first run, the batsman touches and breaks the wicket. This includes with the bat or dislodged pieces of the batsman’s equipment – even a helmet or spectacles!
- Handle The Ball
If a batsman touches the ball with a hand not currently holding the bat, without the permission of the fielding side. This does not include being hit on the hand by a delivery, or any other non-deliberate action.
- Obstructing The Field
If a batsman deliberately interferes with the efforts of fielders to gather the ball or effect a run out. This does not include running a path between the fielder and the wicket so that the fielder cannot throw the stumps down with the ball, which is quite legal, but does include any deliberate attempt to swat the ball away.
- Hit The Ball Twice
If a batsman hits a delivery with his bat and then deliberately hits the ball again for any reason other than to defend his wicket from being broken by the ball. If the ball is bouncing or rolling around near the stumps, the batsman is entitled to knock it away so as to avoid being bowled, but not to score runs.
- Timed Out
If a new batsman takes longer than two minutes, from the time the previous wicket falls, to appear on the field.
These methods of getting out are listed in approximate order of how commonly they occur. The first five are reasonably common, the last five quite rare. The last three methods are almost never invoked.
If a batsman is out caught, bowled, LBW, stumped, or hit wicket, then the bowler is credited with taking the wicket. No single person is credited with taking a wicket if it falls by any other method.
Stay tuned for more on the fundamentals of Cricket in Part IV !