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In cricket an over is made up of six balls from the same bowler from the same end of the pitch. Once the over is completed a different bowler takes over from the other end. This goes on as long as the format of the match dictates. With Test matches this will be until the opposing side are all out or the batting team have declared. There are also limited over formats of the game, most notably 40-over and Twenty20 matches.
If a bowler manages to bowl six balls without the batting side scoring any runs at all it is called a maiden over.
As any game of cricket – no matter what the format – is broken down into overs, it gives bookmakers a huge amount of scope when it comes to the amount of markets they can offer.
Although there are obviously match-related markets for any cricket event, the ability to introduce over-related markets means that what otherwise could be an uneventful sports event can have a high turnover of in-play bets.
The highest first over runs market is one of the most popular for bettors relating to overs but it isn’t the only one available. Bets are taken not only on the amount of runs scored in an over, but also the amount of wide deliveries the bowler sends down in the over. These handy sections of a game can be the basis of many different kinds of betting opportunities, as with all of these markets they start over again once the sixth ball is bowled.
There are also a range of batting-related markets, such as betting on the highest-scoring batsman in an innings.
The most no balls bowled in an over of test cricket is nine by West Indian pace man Curtly Ambrose against Australia in 1993. Remarkably, despite this, Ambrose still went on to win the man of the match award after collecting five wickets of his own in a 10-wicket victory.