The oval ground has no fixed size.
The pitch in the centre is a specially prepared grass area, or an artificial surface of about 20 by 2 metres.
A wicket, which is made of three stumps with two bails on top, is set up at each end of the pitch.
The Teams & Players
A cricket match is contested between two teams of eleven players. The captains toss before the game to decide which teams will bat first, or take the field. Of the batting team, only two players remain on the field: a batsman at each wicket. All eleven players of the fielding party take the field: a bowler (who tries to bowl the batsman with an almost straight arm), a wicket-keeper and nine fielders spread over the ground.
The batting team tries to score as many runs as possible. The batsman scores if he manages to hit the ball into the field with his bat, and runs to the other wicket. Every time he and his colleague-batsman cross and safely reach the other side, they score a run.
A ball is hit so hard it goes over the ground's boundary (after bouncing at least once) earns the batsman 4 runs; a hit over the boundary without bouncing is worth 6 runs.
A batsman has to leave the field if he is out, i.e. eliminated by the fielding team. This is the case if:
the ball is caught by a player of the fielding team before it touches the ground ('caught');
the bowler hits the wicket causing the bails to fall ('bowled');
the wicket of the batsman is hit by the ball while a run is attempted but the batsman is still out of his ground ('run out');
the ball hits the batsman's leg and the umpire judges that it would have hit the wicket ('leg before wicket').
Win & Lose
Each team has an innings during which it must score as many runs as possible. An innings can last until 10 batsmen are eliminated ('all out', the 11th batsman remains 'not out'), or until an agreed number of overs (a series of 6 bowled balls) is completed, sometimes a fixed time-span.
The team batting first wins if the opponents cannot overtake their score (all out, or all overs completed). The team batting second wins if they manage to overtake the score of the team batting first.