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What Are Extras in Cricket ? Know its types & how they are awarded

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The term extras are used in cricket to refer to the runs that are not scored by the batter but are rather awarded by the bowling team. These runs are added to the overall total of the batting team but are not added to the individual score of the batsman. These extra runs, though awarded, are mentioned separately in the scoreboard. The bowling team usually avoids giving away these sorts of runs, as they may later prove to be vital and detrimental to the outcome of the match. A team’s bowling and fielding ability is usually measured based on the extra runs conceded. The more extras awarded, the more lackluster the bowling.

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A point worth mentioning here is that during the Benson and Hedges World Series of 1989, the Pakistan cricket team managed to concede a mammoth 59 extras against the West Indies. The extras conceded accounted for almost 30 percent of the total runs scored by the West Indies team, which was 203 runs in 41 overs. Quite ironically, managed to repeat this embarrassing feat ten years later, wherein they conceded 59 runs (again) against minnows Scotland, accounting for almost 35 percent of Scotland’s total score of 167 runs.

Types of Extras in Cricket

There are a total of five types of extras in cricket. They are,

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  •       No ball
  •       Wide ball
  •       Bye
  •       Leg bye
  •       Penalty runs

Illegal Deliveries

The runs (extras) awarded off these types of deliveries are due to fielders or bowlers violating rules about how they deliver the ball to the batsman (i.e. they are not bowling from far away enough, or the ball is out of the batsman’s reach) or how they are positioned in the outfield. These types of deliveries also do not count towards the number of balls delivered in a match, i.e they are not counted.

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No Ball

Image Source- TOI

An umpire calls a no-ball when the bowler or fielder commits an illegal action during bowling or fielding. The most common cause for a delivery being deemed a no-ball is when the bowler oversteps the popping crease. A rarer reason for the same is when the back foot of the bowler touches or lands outside the return crease.

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Other reasons for a delivery being called a no-ball include when a bowler throws (or chucks) the ball or bowls a full toss above waist high (called a beamer), or for potentially dangerous short-pitched bowling.

The penalty for a no-ball is one run (or, in some one-day competitions, two runs, and/or a free hit). Moreover, the no-ball does not count as one of the six in an over and an extra ball has to be bowled.

The run awarded for the no-ball is an extra/single. Any additional runs scored by the batsman, whether by running or by a boundary, are included in the individual’s score if scored off the bat, or byes or leg byes (whichever is appropriate) if not. These are in addition to the run awarded for the no-ball. If the no-ball would also be wide, it is only scored once, as a no-ball.

Wide Ball

Image Source- MCC

When a ball is delivered too far away from the batsman to strike it, the umpire calls it a wide ball (provided that the ball does not touch any part of the batsman’s body or equipment). A wide ball being delivered leads to an extra run being awarded. Furthermore, the ball is not counted, and an additional ball has to be bowled. All wides are counted toward the runs conceded by the bowler.

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Image Source- BBC

In cricket, a bye is awarded if the ball is not struck by the batsman’s bat (nor it connects with any part of the batsman’s body) the batsmen may still run if they choose. If the ball reaches the boundary, whether or not the batsmen ran, four byes are awarded. Any runs scored are scored as extras.

It needs to be mentioned that byes may be scored off from no-balls as well as from legitimate deliveries.

Leg Bye

What Are Extras in Cricket | Know its types & how they are awarded
Image Source- COD

If the ball hits the batsman’s body (any of its parts), and provided he is not out leg before wicket, the batsman may run and this run will get awarded to him. Regardless of the part of the body the ball touches, it is referred to as a leg bye. If via the same manner the ball reaches the boundary, four leg byes are awarded. They can be scored off no balls or any legitimate deliveries.

Penalty Runs

These runs are awarded during any breaches of the Law, often regarding unfair play or players’ conduct. Penalties are awarded under Law 41 for Unfair Play and, since 2017 under Law 42 for Players’ Conduct.

Extras in Cricket Records

The most extras in a Test match innings is 76 (35 byes, 26 leg byes, and 15 no balls), conceded by India against Pakistan in the 3rd Test in 2007.

In the One Day International, the most extras’ innings is 59, achieved twice against Pakistan: by West Indies in the 9th ODI in 1989 and by Scotland in the 1999 World Cup.

The most extras in a Twenty20 innings is 40 runs, achieved by Lahore Eagles against Sialkot Stallions in the 2004-05 T20 Cup.

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