Limited Overs Cricket Explored & Defined | How It Works?    

This guide will explain to you completely how limited over cricket works. So, keep reading this!

Limited overs cricket is a popular version of the sport and reflects a rule unique to its structure. Many other formats like List A, 100-ball cricket, and Twenty20 cricket have different variations of limited overs. The limited overs concept means teams can compete and round off a match within a day unlike in other formats.

What is Limited Overs Cricket?

Limited overs cricket is a form of cricket where all match activities are completed in a day. It is different from Test and First-Class cricket which could take about 5 days to complete. Some of the fast-paced cricket games are one-day formats and could be completed in less than 3 hours in certain variations.

How Does Limited Overs Cricket Work?

Batting and overs allowed

Both teams only get one chance at batting in limited overs cricket. The format also sets restrictions in the number of innings permitted in overs. In most cases, One-Day Internationals, or ODIs, get about fifty (50) overs in total. List A cricket could see between 40 and 60+ overs, depending on several factors.

The List A format has several similarities with ODI cricket but is largely played at the domestic level.

Gameplay restrictions

Limited overs cricket largely restricts the number of overs for bowling by each bowler. The limitation provides balance by stopping teams from using two extra-powerful bowlers throughout the opposing side’s innings.


In limited overs cricket, a tiebreak could become necessary, especially in knockout competition. The tiebreak, known as the Super Over, allows teams to bat for one-over innings with a couple of wickets in hand. Any team victorious in the Super Over wins the tie.

In league games where a tiebreak isn’t possible, any team with the higher group stage finish will take the tie.

White ball

Limited overs cricket usually happens with white balls over common red balls. White balls became popular in the format because a team scheduled to bat second may need to play under floodlights. With white balls, it is easier for the team to see ball movements during gameplay.

How Long Is a Limited Overs Cricket Match?

A regular Twenty20 limited overs game usually takes 3 hours to complete. It is one of the shortest limited overs games in modern cricket. A shorter form of limited overs cricket – the 100-ball – takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes per game.

One of the longest forms of limited overs cricket is the List A, which takes about 8 hours in each game. Limited overs have many unique differences among each other but share the short time duration in most cases.

Why Is It Called Limited Overs Cricket?

The name comes from the major rule that each team must bowl a set number of balls per over in each game. Limited overs largely restrict the maximum number of overs to allow no more than 6 sets of legal balls. In most cases, the number of overs ranges from 20 to 50 depending on certain formats.

Can Limited Overs Cricket Rollover into the Next Day?

There is a unique event where limited overs games could happen over two days. The format refers to this as a “reserve day” – a day set aside to ensure the game is complete. Reserve-day cricket ensures the limited overs game gets a final score.

In most cases, reserve days are set aside because of limited chances to play or disruption caused by weather conditions.

Why Do Cricket Fans Love Limited Overs Cricket?

Exciting gameplay

Fans appreciate limited overs cricket more than extended formats that could take many days to finish. One-day cricket games are quite popular with fans as teams tend to engage in fast-paced, high-octane cricket. It is not uncommon to witness aggressive, over-the-top batting, risky bowling, and other nail-biting action in limited overs games.

Engaging endings

Several limited overs cricket games also have suspense-filled endings, giving fans the adrenaline rush extended matches can not offer.

Short duration

It will be quite difficult for fans to attend games that take 3 or more days to complete. Limited overs cricket gives fans an opportunity to witness all events in a match and see the winning team in a few hours. Fans can also risk 8 hours to watch long-form limited overs cricket games, but seeing games for days is where they draw the line.

No need for continuous attendance

With limited overs cricket, fans can get the taste of cricket they want in a matter of hours and move on to other productive stuff. Attending limited overs cricket games is also budget-friendly as opposed to extended games.

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