Backyard Test cricket
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What do you need?
1 bat, 1 set of stumps, 1 tennis ball or MILO Kiwi cricket ball per two or more players
How do you play?
1. Toss a coin or a bat [face v back] to decide who bats first
2. Set up the stumps in front of a fence, a wall or garage door and use a marker [eg. a single stump, a bucket or a flower pot] to mark the other end of the pitch
3. If there are enough players and the length of the pitch is sufficient two sets of stumps can be used and two batters can play
4. Bowlers bowl overarm from just one end of the pitch
5. Batters score by running between wickets and hitting boundaries as determined by the local backyard rules
6. Batters can be out bowled, caught or run out
7. The fence, wall or garage door acts as the automatic wicketkeeper or ‘auto-wiky’. Any balls missed by the batter means play stops until the ball is retrieved. A batter is out if he/she edges a ball and it hits the fence, wall or garage door behind the stumps on the full
8. Objects in the backyard such as trees, garden furniture, sheds can be nominated as fielders, if the ball hits any of these objects on the full the batter is out
9. The individual or team with the highest score at the end of the backyard test wins
Backyard Test Cricket rules change constantly. Often they are made up on the spot! They are often dictated by the length of the pitch, the value of the items within reach of the ball, and whose backyard it is!
- Test match cricket: Decide which of the current test teams [eg. BlackCaps] each side is, and what player[s] you are going to be in the test match
- Six and out: Hitting the ball over the fence, on to the roof, into a hedge or some other area where the ball is difficult to retrieve counts as 6 runs and the batter is out
- One hand, one bounce: The batter can be caught out after the ball bounces if the fielder takes it in one hand. The ball can only bounce once, however, hence the name
- Tip-and-run: The batter must run if he/she hits the ball regardless of where or how far it has been hit
- Hit-and-roll: A fielder stops the ball hit by the batter. The batter must lay his/her bat down flat on the ground facing the fielder. The fielder then rolls the ball towards the bat. If it hits the bat the batter is out and is replaced by that fielder
- Taped ball: Play with a tennis ball with a seam made by winding masking or insulation tape around the centre of the ball to get the ball to swing. To make it swing further tape just one side of the ball or shave one side of the ball to get the same effect