Your guide to the cricket bandwagon

Ireland Cricket
(picture by Wikipedia – Nev1)

By Donal Lucey

Ireland yet again took the Cricket World Cup by storm last night with a brilliant display against the West Indies. Just like in Bangalore four years ago, Ireland chased down a total of over 300 to secure a four-wicket victory over one of the big test nations.

Ireland have been here before: in 2007 it was Pakistan, while in 2011 it was England who suffered at the hands of the boys in green. Social media erupted last night with praise coming from both at home and abroad. It looks like cricket will once again become a national sport, for the couple of weeks the tournament lasts anyway.

If you were delighted to hear about Ireland’s victory without having a clue what was going, rest assured, you weren’t the only one. Before Ireland’s next game against the UAE, where they will be looking to further their ambitions of a quarter final place, it’s time to get up to speed.

For your convenience, the is here to provide a simple guide to how it all works!

What is a One Day International?
A One Day International is match played over the course of one day, between two teams of 11 players. The match is made up of two innings and each team takes a turn at batting and bowling. An inning is made up of 50 overs, an over is six legal balls.

What is a Powerplay?
Each bowler can only bowl a maximum of ten overs each meaning you will need at least five bowlers in your team. In this one day format the bowling side is also subjected to something called powerplays. Powerplays dictate the maximum number of fielders allowed outside the inner 30-yard circle at any given time.

In the first 10 overs of an innings, only two fielders can be placed outside the circle. During the second five-over restriction, known as the batting powerplay, the fielding team can only have three fielders outside the circle. The batting captain chooses when this happens.

How do you win?
The innings ends after 50 overs have been bowled or earlier if the team batting is “All Out” (that is, 10 of the 11 batting players get out).

Basically, the team batting second needs to score more than the first team in order to win. If they can’t overtake the score in their allocated overs, or if they are bowled All Out, the first team wins. If both teams finish on the exact same number of runs, the match is a tie.

Why should you watch?
Past Irish victories have been considered huge upsets but this time was very different. Why? Because if you asked anyone close to the Irish team, or indeed any journalists and pundits that follow the sport, they would have said that they were confident of beating the West Indies.

For them it wasn’t about upsetting a bigger team. It was about executing their tactics, playing to their ability and securing a comfortable ability. Based on their performance, the Irish will make it to at least the Quarters-Final and have every chance of progressing further. The Irish public has a great history of getting behind Irish teams and even in the midst of six nations hysteria, this cricket team deserve that same recognition.

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