How long does a cricket game last?

Should you find yourself feeling as though a cricket match never seems to end while watching, you’re not alone and you won’t be the last! Cricket games have a reputation for seeming endless. That might not always be the case, though. We cover every detail regarding the length of a cricket match in this post. What is the duration of a cricket match? On any given match day, a cricket match typically lasts between seven and eight hours. A cricket match’s length, however, varies depending on the format being used. 

Unlike other sports, cricket is played in a variety of formats. Test matches, one-day internationals (ODI), and twenty20 internationals (T20I) are the current international forms that are played. We must comprehend the length in light of the game’s structure. So let’s get into the specifics to have a deeper comprehension!

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What is the duration of a test match?

Examine The earliest and purest version of cricket is cricket. The game of cricket was first documented in England in 1597, which is also when it originated. To date, cricket has been played for more than 400 years. In test cricket, matches are played over five days, with play typically lasting seven hours and thirty minutes per day. If the required amount of overs are not bowled or if a result on the last day’s play is possible, the play may be prolonged for an extra thirty minutes on a given day.

Three game sessions are played each day, separated by a tea or lunch break. Each day’s test match schedule is broken down as follows:

  • Play for two hours during Session 1.
  • 40 minutes for lunch
  • Second session: two hours of play
  • 20 minutes for tea
  • Play for 2.5 hours during Session 3.

Currently, a minimum of 90 overs are bowled each day over the five days that the Test match is played. Each game lasts four innings, during which both teams bat twice.

If a team is unable to get the opponent out completely, the game may terminate before the full four innings, owing to inclement weather or other circumstances.

Most Test Cricket matches take place during the day. In contrast to England, Australia, and New Zealand, where play is held between 11 AM and 7 PM, matches on the subcontinent are often played between 9 AM and 5 PM.

The day-night Test Matches are a relatively new feature, with the majority of them being one-off events. These daytime/nighttime test matches begin at 2:00 PM and go until 10:00 PM.  

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Timeless Test Matches

The most popular type of test match before they were restricted to five days was what we now refer to as “Timeless Test Matches.”

The Eternal Exam There was no time limit on matches; play went on until one team won or the match was tied. In these kinds of contests, a draw was technically not a result, but two drawn matches were played nonetheless.

Were you aware?

Twelve days made up the longest Test Match ever played! In 1939, South Africa and England played it out. Because England needed to board their ship by the conclusion of the twelfth day, the match finished in a tie!

99 test timeless matches were recorded during the Timeless Tests, which were contested between 1877 and 1939. Twelve days passed during the longest Timeless Test match in 1939, which involved South Africa and England. With 44 runs left in the pursuit at the end of the 12th day, the England team attempted to catch their last ship, and the match finished in a draw. It’s ironic to note that this was the final Timeless Test match ever conducted.

A First Class Cricket Match’s duration

All Test-playing nations currently participate in first-class cricket as a form of the game. First-class cricket often refers to the national Test match format that is played in each country. The first-class matches generally last four days, but other than that, they follow the same session structure as in the international test matches.

What is the duration of an ODI match? (Match 50 Over)

Let us now examine the limited-overs format. Only two innings, each with a maximum of 50 overs, are played in One-Day International (ODI) matches. Previously, eight balls were used in over 40 over games and 60 overs for the ODI matches. On match day, ODI matches typically go between 7.5 to 8 hours. ODI matches are typically played as day matches as well as day-night matches. 

The ODI format’s usual time break-up looks like this:

  • First Innings: 3 hours and 20 minutes
  • 40-minute break
  • Second Innings: 3 hours and 20 minutes 

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Reserve Day

If there is a rain delay on the day of the match, ODI matches may occasionally be played across several days. Whether the reserve day rule applies to the series or the particular tournament will determine this. If inclement weather prevents play on the scheduled day, a reserve day is added to the schedule, and the match may resume or continue from the first day. On a reserve day, action in the 2019 ICC World Cup semifinal between India and New Zealand recently resumed.

What is the duration of a T20 match? (20 Over Match)

The newest and shortest international variant of the game was introduced in 2005 and is known as T20I. T20I matches often last three hours or less. T20Is are played for just two innings, with a maximum of 20 overs per side, just like ODI matches. Fans have become interested in Twenty20 matches, and leagues are being played in many different nations using this format. The T20I format’s standard time break-up is as follows:

  • First Innings: 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • 20-minute break
  • Second Innings: 1 hour and 20 minutes

T20 match extension because of a super over

One of the newest regulations to be used to decide the match winner in the event of a tie is the Super Over. A one-over eliminator between two teams is called a Super Over. The winning side in the Super Over is the one with the highest run total. All Twenty20 International matches as well as ODI match elimination rounds are subject to the Super Over.

A super over can add another twenty to thirty minutes to the match’s duration. Approximately ten minutes after the conclusion of the first match, the Super Over begins. Moreover, it takes five to six minutes to finish each of the two overs. 

Other types of cricket matches’ duration

Around the world, cricket matches are played in a variety of other formats. These may have a sizable fan base and their own cricket leagues, but they are not played on an international scale.

The length of a T10 cricket match

One of the newest formats, T10 Cricket is limited to a few leagues. Typically, a T10 match lasts two innings, with ten overs on each side. Typically, a T10 match lasts between one and two hours. Since this format is non-standard, it does not have a standard time schedule according to ICC’s criteria.

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The length of the Hundred

The England Cricket Board has suggested the 100, a competition that will likely see its inaugural match in 2021. In a two-inning game, each team bats for a maximum of 100 balls each innings. A bowler may bowl five or ten balls in a row for a maximum of 20 balls. Approximately 2.5 to 3 hours pass throughout a 100-ball contest (a little shorter than a conventional T20 cricket match).

Duration of a cricket match FAQs

1) What is the duration of a cricket match in hours?

The game often lasts for seven hours and thirty minutes every day, with matches being played over five days. Nonetheless, the play may be prolonged by 30 minutes if the necessary number of overs are not bowled on a particular day or if a result on the last day’s play is feasible.

2) Which cricket match has ever lasted the longest?

The ‘timeless’ Test match between South Africa and England, played in Durban, South Africa, from March 3–14, 1939, was the longest cricket match ever documented. After ten days (the eighth day was rained off), it was abandoned, as the ship that was to return the England team home was scheduled to depart.

3) Which cricket match was the shortest ever?

The first Test between England and Australia at Trent Bridge on June 12, 1926, was the shortest Test match in terms of actual playing time. England scored 32-0 in just 50 minutes of play, during which 17.2 overs were bowled.


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