In cricket, there are ten different ways a batsmen can be out. They are also known as methods of dismissal as in many cases, the bowling team have to appeal to the umpire to 'dismiss' the batsman by adjudging him out.
I've listed the ways of getting out in order of prevalence, with the most common first and the least common last. You'll rarely see the last five in a cricket match, but they're still worth knowing - just ask the Australian national cricket team!
A batsman is out caught if he hits the ball in the air and a member of the fielding team catches it before it touches the ground. This is the most common way of getting out in cricket. Most catches are taken using the orthodox cup and reverse cup methods.
Catches range in difficulty from the simplest pouch behind the wicket to stunning, one-handed, leaping efforts. See a video of some classic catches here.
If the bowler's delivery of the ball sends it travelling into the batsman's stumps AND at least one bail is dislodged, the batsman is out. Basically, a batsman is out bowled if he fails to protect his stumps from the bowler.
It's important to note that one or both of the bails have to come off the stumps for a batsman to be dismissed bowled. There have been occasions when the ball has either hit the stumps or passed between them without the bails being dislodged. At other times, the bails have fallen at the slightest touch.
3. Leg before wicket (LBW)
If the ball strikes the batsman and would have gone on to hit the stumps had its path not been interrupted by their body, the umpire can give the batsman out leg before wicket (LBW) if the fielding team appeals. It's a little more complicated than that, though. Here are the conditions that need to be upheld if the batsman is playing a shot:
- The ball must pitch (bounce) outside off stump or in line with the stumps
- The ball must strike the batsman in line with the stumps
- The ball must not pitch outside leg stump
And if the batsman offers no shot:
- The ball must not pitch outside leg stump
In any case, the ball must have hit the batsman's body before touching either his bat or glove. With so many factors to consider, it's understandable that umpires will sometimes get it wrong.
4. Run out
If a batsman attempts a run, but fails to make his ground before the bails are dislodged by the fielding team, he is run out.
Usually, run outs involve the wicketkeeper or bowler receiving the ball from a fielding teammate and whipping the bails off with the ball in their hands. Sometimes, though, the fielder manages a direct hit on the stumps - which is often spectacular.
When the batsman attempts a shot, he may step outside of his batting crease. If he misses the ball, and the wicketkeeper removes the bails before the batsman returns to his ground, the batsman is out stumped.
Stumpings usually occur off spin bowling, as the wicketkeeper needs to be standing up to the stumps in order to affect a stumping. On rare occasions, however, the 'keeper manages to stump a batsman out off a fast bowler.
6. Hit wicket
We're into the rare stuff now. A batsman is out hit wicket when he dislodges the bails with his bat or body when taking a shot or beginning his first run. This can happen when the batsman accidentally steps back onto his stumps or strikes them with a wide swing of his bat.
It can also happen in even stranger circumstances, such as when the batsman's helmet falls off and hits the stumps.
7. Handled the ball
If a batsman handles the ball (i.e. touches it with a hand not in contact with the bat) without the permission of the fielding side, he can be given out. Convention and cricket etiquette ensure that in most cases, the fielding team will only appeal for handled ball if the batsman's action has a genuine impact on play.
This has only happened seven times in Test cricket so far, notably to Australia's Steve Waugh in 2001.
8. Obstructing the field
If the batsman obstructs a fielder during play in a cricket match, he can be given out for obstructing the field. This is something of a grey area. Batsmen quite often run in the path of the ball to prevent it hitting the stumps, and there are relatively frequent collisions between a running batsman and a bowler sprinting after the ball.
The key to being given out for obstructing the field is intention. It requires a clearly deliberate action on the batsman's behalf, such as when Pakistan's Inzamam-ul-Haq blocked a fielder's throw with his bat.
9. Hit the ball twice
If a batsman hits the cricket ball twice with either his bat or his body, and the second hit is intentional, he can be given out. The second hit is however acceptable if the batsman is preventing the ball from hitting his stumps.
In the history of international cricket, no player has been given out for hitting the ball twice. It has happened 21 times in first-class cricket, most recently in 2005-2006.
10. Timed out
In cricket, a new batsman must come to the batting crease within three minutes of the dismissed batsman being given out. The same goes for not out batsmen returning after a break in play.
As with number nine above, international cricket has never seen a player given out timed out. It has happened only four times in first-class cricket, all in strange circumstances.
11. BONUS: Retired out
A cricket batsman can retire due to something preventing them from continuing their innings (usually injury). As long as they inform the umpire, and as long as they are able, they can return and continue batting later in their team's innings.
It is possible, however, for a batsman to retire out if they do not inform the umpire that they wish to return. This is relatively common in practice or warm-up matches but has only ever happened twice in Test cricket - both in the same match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2001. Top-level teams usually avoid retiring their batsmen out as it can be considered demeaning to the opposition.
While retired out is a legitimate way for a batsman to end his innings, it's not considered one of the ten ways of getting out in cricket as the batsman is not actually dismissed.