The Commentary Box Vocabulary

If you’ve made the right choices in life, you would have watched cricket with the commentary in English. As someone who likes to tour the space of words and literature, listening to cricket commentary offered me more than analysis of matches. I heard new words and phrases, some stuck in my mind and some slipped away like the ball that goes past Ravichandra Ashwin in the outfield.

Here are some of the phrases that come to mind, as I reflect on the times I’d been a couch potato watching…and listening cricket.

Richie Benaud

Known as the ‘Voice of Cricket’. Richie Benaud passed away this year.                                               [Image source – PA Photos via]

1 – Well begun is half done

2 –  Chink in the armour (usually a batsmen’s weak zone)

3 – ‘Flash in the pan’ performance

4 – Well-knit unit (speaking of team bonding)

5 – ‘Penultimate’ over

6 – Playing for pride (when a team was out of contest but still had an inconsequential match to play)

7 – Dead rubber game (an inconsequential match)

8 – Handing down defeat

9 – Touch-and-go (usually used when analysing run-outs)

10 – Moral victory

11 – A heavy downpour (something between a drizzle and a full-fledged rain)

12 – Batsman’s ‘blind-spot’

13 – Little niggle in the arm (when someone is visibly uncomfortable with muscle movement)

14 – Making a come-back

15 – The match is anybody’s for the taking

16 – Textbook cricket shot

17 – Sent him packing

18 – In the nick of time

19 – Dampening the spirits

20 – Making the right call

21 – Not in favour of the decision

22 – Lofting in the air

23 – Using the ‘weaker’ arm

24 – Long walk to the pavilion (to accentuate how the batsman must feel after being dismissed)

25 – Whizzing past

26 – Smack in the middle

27 – Butter fingers

28 – Reading the surface well (adapting to the pitch)

29 – Nuances of the game

30 – Shot in the arm

31 – Calm and collected

32 – Scripting a success

33 – Fortune favours the brave

34 – Right on the money

Are there more additions that can be made to the list? Feel free to comment below and contribute!