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Fall of next wicket refers to the number of runs which will have been scored in a game of cricket before the next batsman is out. For example, if a batman is bowled out with the score at 210 for 3, and a bettor thinks the next wicket will fall relatively quickly – perhaps because a new bowler has started bowling particularly well, or the next batsman is perceived to be in bad form – then they would place a bet for the next wicket to fall within ten runs.
Fall of next wicket is just one of the many bets which can be placed in play during the course of a cricket match. Other examples include next wicket method and bets placed on the number of runs scored in a specific over. The appeal of a fall of next wicket bet lies in the fact that it relies on a close study of the match as it unfolds combined with an understanding of the wider form of the players involved at a particular point.
Much of the betting on the fall of the next wicket takes the form of spread betting. An example of a bet made in this way would be as follows:
England are 112-4 and the bookmaker is predicting that the next wicket will fall after 20 runs. This means that the spread to bet on will be between 131-133. A bettor who has studied the match and believes that the next batsman will score more runs before being given out could place £5 on 133. If the next wicket falls after just five runs, then the loss would be calculated as 133-117 = 16 multiplied by the £5 stake, which would come to £90. If, on the other hand, the bettor is correct, and the next partnership goes on to score 45 runs before the loss of a wicket, the return on the bet would be 157-133 = 24 multiplied by the £5 stake, which would mean a pay out of £120.
It should be noted that if the batting team declares, reaches its target or comes to the end of the number of overs being bowled without the next wicket in question falling, then the number of runs given for the next wicket will be the total score, and also that a batsman having to retire hurt does not count as a wicket falling.