Cricket is often thought of as typically British,
and it is played in villages and towns all over
the country in the summer. It is played by two teams
of eleven. A formal game can last anything from
an afternoon to five days. Traditionally players
wear long white trousers and a white shirt and jumper.
The order in
which the teams bat is determined by the toss of a coin. The captain of the side which
wins the toss may elect to bat or field first. The main purpose of the game is for a
bowler to throw a hard leather-covered ball at three wooden stumps in an effort to
dislodge two pieces of wood (bails) balanced on top. The batsman stands in front of
the stumps and tries to hit the ball as far as possible with a paddle-shaped willow bat.
If the ball knocks the bails off the stumps, the batsman is out and cannot
play for the rest of the game. Teams bat in successive innings and attempt to score runs,
while the opposing team fields and attempts to bring an end to the batting team's innings.
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