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Expand chart
Diagram: Harry Stevens/Axios

England and New Zealand will go head-to-head in the Cricket World Cup final on Sunday, with both countries looking to win their first ever world title.

How it's played: Cricket has two teams of 11 players that take turns batting and playing the field. Like baseball, the objective is to score more runs than the opposing team.

  • The field: A cricket field is made up of a large grass oval with a 66-foot-long playing area, or "pitch," in the middle. While a baseball field has boundaries that determine fair vs. foul, in cricket, the entire field is in play.
  • Wickets: On both ends of the pitch are wickets, which are made up of three wooden poles called "stumps" and connected on top by two horizontal wooden pieces called "bails." (see illustration below)

The batting team sends out two batsmen who always work in pairs. Their job is to score runs and defend their wickets, and they continue hitting until they get out.

  • If the batsman hits the ball and both he and the non-striking batsman safely run to the opposite crease, this scores one run. They try to do this as many times as possible, scoring a run each time.
  • If the batsman hits the ball and it reaches the boundary (aka, outfield fence) on the ground, this automatically scores four runs (no running required).
  • If the batsman hits the ball and it reaches the boundary on the fly (aka, a home run), this automatically scores six runs.
  • If the bowler bowls the ball too high, too wide or throws a "no-ball" (an illegal bowl of any kind), this automatically scores one run.

The fielding team puts all 11 players on the field, one of whom is designated as the bowler (aka, pitcher). The five main ways to get a batsman out:

  • Bowled out: If the bowler bowls the ball and it knocks over either a stump or a bail, the batsman has been bowled out.
  • Caught out: If the batsman hits the ball in the air and a fielder catches it, he's been caught out.
  • Run out: If a batsman runs for his partner's crease and the ball is thrown into the wickets before he gets there, he's been run out.
  • Leg before wicket (LBW): If the ball hits the batsman's leg and the umpire thinks it would have hit the wickets if his leg wasn't in the way, he's ruled out.
  • Stumped out: If the batsman swings and misses and the wicket keeper (aka, catcher) catches the ball and pushes it into the wickets before the batter can return to the crease, he's been stumped out.

Game format: After six bowled balls (aka, an "over"), the field of play flips (the pitch is symmetrical so you can play in either direction) and the bowler changes.

  • Cricket formats vary, but in the World Cup, an "inning" ends after 50 overs — or when the batting team has batted through the order. Once both teams have batted, the game ends and the team with the higher score wins.

Go deeper

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.