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One-day cricket matches is a form of cricket that is completed in a single day.

It is different from Test and domestic first class cricket that often takes up to five days to complete or get the desired result. One-day cricket matches always ends with a result in a single days play.

In a one-day cricket match, each team bats only once and the innings are limited to a set number of overs, generally fifty. There can be some variations due to poor weather conditions. Other changes to the game include additional restrictions on where fielders may be placed and stricter rules on wide balls and short deliveries. In most matches, a white ball is used rather than the traditional red and as a result, the need to paint rather than stain the white ball gives it subtly different characteristics in flight as it wears. The white ball is generally restricted to matches played during the afternoon and into the evening, such matches are also known as day-night matches. The day and night matches necessitate the team batting second to begin their innings under stadium lights as a result of the lack of available natural sunlight.
The dress for one-day cricket matches is generally in bright colors clothing that adds to the spectators interest and also enhances the appeal for television viewers. One-day cricket originally began between English County teams in the 1960's. The first one-day international was played in Melbourne, Australia, in 1971. One day cricket matches are much more popular as compared to test matches as it encourages aggressive, risky and entertaining batting. One more reason for its popularity is that a spectator can go and see an entire match without the attendance of continuous five days.

A One Day International (ODI) is a form of Limited overs cricket, in which a fixed number of overs, usually 50, but in the past 40, 45 or 60 overs, are played between two teams with international status. The Cricket World Cup is played in this format. One Day International matches are also called "Limited Overs Internationals (LOI)", because they are limited overs cricket matches between national sides, and if the weather interferes they are not always completed in one day. Important one-day matches, international and domestic, often have two days set aside, the second day being a "reserve" day to allow more chance of the game being completed if a result is not possible on the first day (for instance if play is prevented or interrupted by rain). The international one-day game is a late twentieth-century development. The first ODI was played on 5 January 1971 between Australia and England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. When the first three days of the third Test were washed out officials decided to abandon the match and, instead, play a one-off one day game consisting of 40 eight-ball overs per side. Australia won the game by 5 wickets. In the late 1970s, Kerry Packer established the rival World Series Cricket (WSC) competition, and it introduced many of the features of One Day International cricket that are now commonplace, including coloured uniforms, matches played at night under floodlights with a white ball and dark sight screens, and, for television broadcasts, multiple camera angles, effects microphones to capture sounds from the players on the pitch, and on-screen graphics. The first of the matches with coloured uniforms was the WSC Australians in wattle gold versus WSC West Indians in coral pink, played at VFL Park in Melbourne on 17 January 1979. It was credited with making cricket a more professional sport.

In the main the Laws of cricket apply. However, in ODIs, each team gets to bat only a fixed number of overs. In the early days of ODI cricket, the number of overs was generally 60 overs per side but now it has been uniformly fixed at 50 overs. Simply stated the game works as follows:

An ODI is contested by 2 teams of 11 players each. The Captain of the side winning the toss chooses to either bat or bowl (field) first. The team batting first sets the target score in a single innings. The innings lasts until the batting side is "all out" (i.e., 10 of the 11 batting players are "out") or all of the first side's allotted overs are used up. Each bowler is restricted to bowling a maximum of 10 overs (fewer in the case of rainreduced matches and in any event generally no more than one fifth or 20% of the total overs per innings). The team batting second tries to score more than the target score in order to win the match. Similarly, the side bowling second tries to bowl out the second team for less than the target score in order to win.

If the number of runs scored by both teams are equal when the second team loses all of its wickets or exhausts all its overs, then the game is declared as a 'tie' (regardless of the number of wickets lost by either team).

Where a number of overs are lost, for example, due to inclement weather conditions, then the number of overs may be reduced. Where the number of overs available for the team batting second is perforce different from the number of overs faced by the team that batted first, the result may be determined by the Duckworth-Lewis method. The floodlights would be positioned in such a way that it would not interfere with fielding teams and captains would be allowed a cloth on field should the ball become moist.