It's an increasingly common site across the cricket fields of the world: Games without draws. These games are a totally different way of playing with their own challenges for cricketers, especially captains.
The essential difference between the two forms is that you don't need to bowl the opposition out to win. This means you are looking to defend in the field far more quickly, ideally using the basic field placing structure to cut off as many runs as possible in the V.
That said, wickets are a great way to slow the run rate as new players get settled. Ideally you will frustrate the opposition out with tight bowling, but looking to attack new batsmen is important too, just remember it's much harder to buy wickets.
To stop quick singles, push your extra cover and midwicket level with the bowlers stumps and make sure they are sharp on the single. Those two are probably the most important fielders. This also means mid on and mid off are slightly deeper to keep the line and can be moved deeper to stop the over the top hit while square leg is in front.
Keep the basics in mind at all times too.
Once this is in place, you have two options open to you, both require bowlers with accurate line:
- Bowl at off stump with five or six on the off side, covering the off boundary.
- Bowl at leg stump with five on the leg side, covering the leg boundary.
The latter method may backfire with leg side wides but not many teams try it so it could work to your advantage.
- Use spinners. The slower pace is harder to get away and they tend to be more accurate. Get them on early, especially if wickets fall as they can apply pressure, but don't forget that extra cover and short third man will do a lot of work.
- Try and plan bowler's spells. While situations often dictate change, bowlers like to know if they are bowling their overs in one go or in several spells.
- Keep spells short. This allows bowlers to have plenty in reserve and keeps batsmen guessing, even when wickets are falling. This is vital when defending a low score.
- Use your worst bowlers. There will come a time when your bit bowlers will need to bowl. Try and plan when it will be, but be prepared to get them on the moment teams get behind the run rate.
- Don't relax. Limited overs games swing direction very quickly, you need to be two steps ahead to take advantage or start to fight fires.
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