Short of a length
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Short of a length (sometimes referred to as "back of a length" or "short of a good length") is a term used in the sport of cricket. It describes a delivery from the bowler that pitches short of the optimum length.
Length in cricket defines where the ball pitches on the wicket. A good length ball is one that pitches at a distance that makes it difficult for the batsman to ascertain whether to play the ball on the front foot or back foot. A bouncer is a ball that passes the batsman above chest height. A short of a length delivery is one that pitches in the area between the bouncer and good length balls.
This delivery can be dangerous for a batsman as it can bounce higher into the midriff. Also, the delivery can be extremely useful to a seam bowler. Good exponents include Stephen Harmison and Glenn McGrath. Younger bowlers tend to not be able to bowl these balls because they are quite diffuct to play and may hit the shoulder of a bat on a particularly bouncy wicket
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