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Innings is a period of a cricket match in which one of the teams serves and the other hits. In addition, innings means the period during which a specific player hits, regardless of what specific role he plays (striker or non-striker). It is noteworthy that the term is used in both the singular and plural; this is a key difference from softball and baseball, where inning is the only number.

The earliest mention of innings dates back to the 30s of the 18th century. So, after the match between the teams of Kent and the London Cricket Club, the St. The James Evening Post wrote: “The Kentians might not have been able to win with another inning, but there was not enough time for that.”

As far as the origin of the term innings is concerned, presumably, it is a gerund of old English Innian (literally “get inside”, “put”, “enter”). Judging by the first mentions of innings, even then, this word often meant the onset of the turn of one of the teams to beat off (hence the expression ‘To be in to bat’).

Innings has a whole section on Laws (# 13):

13.1.1. The match consists of one or two innings depending on the agreement of the parties.

13.1.2. Innings may be limited to a certain number of overs by agreement of the teams. If such a decision has been made and recorded, then subsequent innings will also be limited to the specified number of overs. If the match consists of two innings, then the agreement shall affect the first innings of each side, the second innings of each side, or both innings of both the first and second teams. Also, the criteria for determining the final result of the match are additionally established.

13.2. Rotation of innings. In matches that consist of two innings, the sides enter the game in turn (except for some episodes mentioned in other sections, eg 15.2 “Losing Innings”).

13.3. Completed innings. innings is completed when the following mandatory conditions are met:

13.3.1. All batsmen from the battering side are sent out.

13.3.2. The wicket is destroyed / the batsman is sent out, while the serving side has balls left that no one can hit.

13.3.3. The captain announced the closure of the innings.

13.3.4. The captain announced the loss of the innings.

13.3.5. The set number of overs has been exhausted or the match time has come to an end.

13.4. Lot. To determine the order of the innings, captains toss a coin on the field in the presence of both judges no earlier than half an hour and no later than 15 minutes before the start of the match.

13.5. Confirmation of the decision. At the conclusion of the toss, the winning team captain must determine where to start (service or hitting) and then communicate his decision to the losing captain and the officials. After the latter has fixed the command queue, it is no longer possible to undo this decision.

Typically, up to four innings per team can be played in first-class matches, with both teams getting the opportunity to hit twice during each of them, although this rule is not always followed in practice. There are only two innings in limited overs, and each team has the right to hit once.

Innings can end in different ways. The most common options are to remove all batsmen from the battering team from the game or, in the case of a limited-overs format match, to exhaust the set number of overs.

Finally, the term innings can be used to mean “score” for the entire team and a specific batsman. For example, if a commentator mentions that the batsman had 105 innings, he means that he performed 105 runs at his innings, beating at the team’s innings for which he is playing. Another option is “Team’s first/second innings totaled 504,” meaning the batsmen playing for it had a total of 504 runs.

Interestingly, innings can also be used figuratively. It usually has a temporary connotation in such cases: for example, the phrase “A good innings” can be translated as “long life.”

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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