How to Calculate the Follow-On Score in Cricket

Ascertain the length of the match. The follow-on calculation is used according to the duration of the game, so the required difference in runs for a follow-on in a five-day game is more than a one-day game. Follow the Laws of Cricket (see Resources) to determine the follow-on calculation based on the length of the match.

Determine if the follow-on can be taken. In a five-day match, if team A bats first and scores 289 and team B scores 89 or more runs, the follow-on cannot be enforced. In a one-day game, if team A bats first and scores 145 and team B scores 69 or less, the follow-on can be enforced by team A. The decision is made by the captain of team A.

Perform the follow-on calculation. Use a calculator to be certain of the situation. For example, in a three-day game, team A scores 354 and team B scores 238 -- the follow-on cannot be enforced. In a two-day match, team A scores 278 and team B scores 155 -- the follow-on can be enforced, as the first batting team has a lead of 100 or more runs.

Determine the match result. For example, team A has enforced the follow-on after they scored 450 runs compared to team B's 228 in a five-day match. Team B must now bat for a second time, despite the fact team A has only batted once. Team B is now effectively 228 for the loss of no wickets.

Work out the different scenarios for the conclusion of the match. If team B bats for a second time, effectively starting on 228, and score a total of 567, then team A must bat again and score 117 runs to draw and 118 runs to win. If team B bats for a second time and continues batting through to the end of the five days, then the match is a draw, regardless of runs scored. Finally, if team B bats for a second time and scores a total of 449 or less, it loses by an innings.