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A dot ball is the name given to a ball delivered in a game of cricket without any runs being scored off it. The name derives from the fact that a no score is traditionally recorded in the score book with a single dot. Trying to predict when the first dot ball will be bowled is, by its nature, fairly random, but some bookmakers offer this as one of a number of special bets, such as the first method of dismissal and whether the first delivery of a match will result in a dot ball, wicket, six, four or a single run.
Predicting which ball of a match will be the first dot ball is always going to be fairly difficult as there are only a few aspects of the match which can be factored into making the decision. The first and probably most important of these is the format of the match being played. In a Test match, the first few deliveries are likely to be treated more cautiously as batsmen attempt to entrench themselves and begin building a score slowly, and this could lead to the first dot ball arriving more quickly. Limited overs formats, such as T20 and One Day Internationals, on the other hand, encourage more aggressive play and faster scoring, which means that it’s likely to take longer for the first dot ball to be delivered. The form and playing style of the batsman and bowler will also have to be borne in mind, as more aggressive play is less likely to result in a dot ball. In most cases, bookmakers are likely to offer bets on the first dot ball in the form of a spread bet, which means the bookmaker setting a range of balls and bettors deciding whether the first dot ball will come before or after the range in question. First dot ball betting is the kind of special bet which experienced sports gamblers are likely to ignore but those new to sports betting might enjoy as an introduction.