Cricket: fine legs, thick edges, stumps, slips, and creases. And wagging tails.

27 Jan

I went to an England-Pakistan cricket test match (well one day of it: it lasts five days!). I was very happy that I had just the right thing to wear…

OK, totally stupid, but it kept me going all day. And let me tell you, it was ALL DAY.

Anyway, it was very exciting because this is a test match, which means it is between two of the handful of really major national teams. A major event for cricket players. Millions watching on TV. But the stadium itself was pretty empty, because this is not Pakistan. They didn’t even charge entry and we sat right next to the pitch.

I went with a real cricket expert and I think I’ve got the terminology down now, but must say I find it pretty pervy. Leave it to the Brits.

1. The slip’s job is to catch a snick. A snick is, apparently, something the one holding the bat gets off without quite wanting to. A sweep, however, is something he fully intends to do.

2. A thick edge is a somewhat fatter snick (and also sometimes good).

3. A maiden, as you know, is what is left when you come all the way over and don’t score.

4. If the one holding the bat leaves the crease, he can really get stumped. Definitely not good!

5. Keeping a straight bat is good conservative strategy, but playing across the line–that’s very risky (and the potential rewards are great).

6. The fine leg is not too far from the wicket keeper, and very close to the first and second slip. (Yes, two slips.) No wait, that’s wrong. The wicket keeper is the one who is close to the first and second slip. As is appropriate.

7. The last part of the innings (yes, it’s plural also in the singular) is called the tail. Now, when there is a lot of scoring going on, the tail, it is said, starts wagging.



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