The test match has three sessions per day with lunch and tea breaks between them. Additionally, there are five days of play in a test match, which adds up the total number of sessions in test cricket to fifteen.
Each day has three different sessions: morning sessions, post lunch, and evening/final session of the day’s play. The same pattern of play with three daily sessions is repeated for five days to decide the winner of a match.
The latest format of test cricket, pink ball matches popularly known as day knight tests, also have fifteen sessions divided into three sessions per day. Here’s everything you need to know about the limit of sessions and overs in test cricket.
Meaning of Session in Test Cricket
There is a total of five days in a test match with 90 overs (the number can vary) of play for each day. Every team plays two times in their first and second innings, and the total score from both innings is calculated to decide the winner.
Each day’s play is divided into three equal parts, known as a session. About 90 overs are played every day of a test match, divided into three sessions of 30 overs each.
The morning session begins right after the toss and at the start of the day’s play. Once either 30 overs or the allotted time for the morning session is finished, the teams take a lunch break of 40 minutes. After the lunch break, the play resumes as an afternoon or post-lunch session.
Similarly, at the end of this second session, a tea break of 20 minutes is announced. Finally, the evening/final session starts after tea, and the end of this session marks the end of the day’s play (stumps).
The next morning, the same session routine is followed until the final (fifth) day of a test match.
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How Many Overs In A Session Of Test Cricket?
Test matches were more in trend during the early days, three or four days. This is because test matches were not so systematic back then, and players used to play even “Timeless Tests” with no fixed playing duration. The last four-day test match was played in 1973 when test matches used to have a rest day for four days.
Now, with five days of play in a test match, playing time for every single day is divided into three sessions. On average, a test match comprises 450 overs for five-day play, with 90 overs for every single day.
Since three sessions are assigned each day, these 90 overs are divided into 30 for each session.
However, the maximum number of overs for one session is not fixed and can increase per the game’s situation. For example, if the bowling side is bowling with a fast over-rate, it is possible to have more than 30 overs in one session.
If nine wickets fall by the end of the session, then the on-field umpires can discuss and extend the ongoing session for some extra time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the three sessions in test cricket?
Each day of the test match is divided into three equal parts or sessions, namely morning session, lunch session and afternoon/post-lunch session. The same session system continues for five days to decide the winner of a match.
2. How many sessions are there in the Test match?
There are a total of 15 sessions in a test match. Each day of the test match is divided into three sessions with lunch & tea intervals between them. Each day comprises three sessions for five days of play, adding up to 15 sessions.
3. How many overs are in a Test?
There are 90 overs on average in a day’s play of a test match, with 30 overs being played during each session. This makes a total of 450 overs for a five-day play, but the number is not limited and can increase or decrease as per the situation.
4. Can you bowl more than 90 overs in a day?
Yes, there is no fixed number of overs for any day or session. It depends upon the over-rate by which the bowling side is going through. In matches, 95 to 100 overs were bowled on a single day.
5. What is the duration of the tea break in a test match?
The tea break is of 20 minutes. It takes place at the end of the afternoon or post-lunch session and lasts 20 minutes.
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