Boundary (cricket)

Boundary has two distinct meanings in the sport of cricket.


Edge of the field

The boundary is the edge of the playing field, or the physical object marking the edge of the field, such as a rope or fence.

When the cricket ball is inside the boundary, it is in play. When the ball is touching the boundary, beyond the boundary, or being touched by a fielder who is himself either touching or beyond the boundary, it is out of play and the batting side usually scores 4 or 6 runs for hitting the ball out of play. Because of this rule, fielders near the boundary attempting to intercept the ball often flick the ball back in to the field of play rather than pick it up directly, and then return to pick it up after having slid into the boundary and then returned to the field.

4 or 6 runs

A “boundary” is also the scoring of a four or a six from a single delivery.

4 is scored if the ball bounces before touching or going over the edge of the field and 6 if it does not bounce. When this happens the batsman does not have to run, the runs are automatically added to his and his team’s score and the ball becomes dead. If the ball did not touch the bat or hand holding the bat, the runs are scored as the relevant type of extra instead.

Four runs can also be scored by hitting the ball into the outfield and running between the wickets four times (an 'all run four'), although this is rare as there is usually not enough time to do so before a fielder returns the ball.

Four runs can also be scored as overthrows, if a fielder gathers the ball and then throws it so that no other fielder can gather it before it reaches the boundary. In this case, the batsman who hit the ball, or 'extras' if the ball has not come of the bat or hand holding the bat, scores however many runs the batsmen had run up to that time, plus four additional runs.

The scoring of a four or six is a significant event, often achieved by a display of skill by the batsman, and is usually greeted by a round of applause from the spectators. Fours can also be scored accidentally as the bowler achieves an edge off the bat, but no fielder is able to catch or gather the ball as it runs to the boundary behind the batsman.

A deliberate four is often scored using an aggressive, attacking stroke of the bat. It signals that the batsman is in an attacking mode, and most often occurs when the batsman has played himself in and the bowlers have begun to tire. As such, the ratio of fours to runs scored by running often rises the longer a batsman bats in one innings.

Bowlers, for their part, sometimes encourage batsmen to attempt to hit fours and sixes by bowling deliveries slightly wider of the off stump than would normally be considered a good line, because a batsman who is batting aggressively and trying to hit fours is more likely to make a mistake and get out.

Fours are not uncommon, and usually something in the range of 10 to 100 fours will be scored in the course of a cricket match. Sixes are relatively uncommon, and usually fewer than 10, and maybe none, will be scored in the course of a match.



On August 31, 1968, Gary Sobers became the first man to hit six sixes off a single six-ball over in first-class cricket. The over was bowled by Malcolm Nash in Nottinghamshire's first innings against Glamorgan in Swansea. Nash was a seam bowler but—somewhat rashly, as it turned out—decided to try his arm at spin bowling. This achievement was caught on film. The feat has been repeated only once, by Ravi Shastri in 1984, playing for Bombay against Baroda, in Bombay.

In May 2004, New Zealand player Chris Cairns broke the record for the number of sixes recorded by an individual player in Test matches. Playing for the Black Caps in the first Test in the 2004 series against England at Lord's in London, Cairns took the new record total to 86 sixes before retiring from test cricket.

The One-day International record for most sixes hit in an innings is held by Sanath Jayasuriya who hit 11 sixes against Pakistan in Singapore in the 1994-95 season.


On August 21, 2004, the Chris Gayle scored an over of six consecutive fours for the West Indies against England off the bowling of Matthew Hoggard at The Oval. This was the first instance of an all four over in test match cricket.

See also


  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools