How to Calculate the Follow-On Score in Cricket

By Henry Francis

The follow-on calculation in cricket can only be used in matches where each side has two batting innings. It is an option that can only be utilized by the side that bats first and only if it leads by a certain number of runs after each side has batted once. The follow-on is only enforced when the team that bats first holds a large advantage over the other in terms of runs scored. It means that the team that batted second in a match must bat again, even though the team that batted first has only batted once. Once the follow-on is enforced, it is historically very difficult for the opposition to win the match -- as of March 2011, it has only occurred three times in 117 years (see Resources).

Ascertain the length of the match. The follow-on calculation is used according to the duration of the game, so the required difference in runs for a follow-on in a five-day game is more than a one-day game. Follow the Laws of Cricket (see Resources) to determine the follow-on calculation based on the length of the match.

Determine if the follow-on can be taken. In a five-day match, if team A bats first and scores 289 and team B scores 89 or more runs, the follow-on cannot be enforced. In a one-day game, if team A bats first and scores 145 and team B scores 69 or less, the follow-on can be enforced by team A. The decision is made by the captain of team A.

Perform the follow-on calculation. Use a calculator to be certain of the situation. For example, in a three-day game, team A scores 354 and team B scores 238 -- the follow-on cannot be enforced. In a two-day match, team A scores 278 and team B scores 155 -- the follow-on can be enforced, as the first batting team has a lead of 100 or more runs.

Determine the match result. For example, team A has enforced the follow-on after they scored 450 runs compared to team B's 228 in a five-day match. Team B must now bat for a second time, despite the fact team A has only batted once. Team B is now effectively 228 for the loss of no wickets.

Work out the different scenarios for the conclusion of the match. If team B bats for a second time, effectively starting on 228, and score a total of 567, then team A must bat again and score 117 runs to draw and 118 runs to win. If team B bats for a second time and continues batting through to the end of the five days, then the match is a draw, regardless of runs scored. Finally, if team B bats for a second time and scores a total of 449 or less, it loses by an innings.

References

About the Author

I have been involved in coaching and administration of youth soccer with the Herts FA for several years. I have many years experience with the technical side and equipment of soccer, cricket, rugby, snooker and poker. I studied the health and fitness and dietary side of competitive sport while at University. Currently, I am not ready for on-camera opportunities, but this could change with access to training and equipment.

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