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tail end

Tail-end

"Tail-end" is a cricket term used to indicate the last few positions in a team's batting order. All eleven players in the team must take a turn to bat even if they are specialist bowlers and cannot bat well. The non-batsmen are generally termed "tailenders" especially as they invariably occupy the late order positions.

Sometimes, if a specialist batsman is out shortly before the close of a day's play, a tailender is promoted in the order and sent in to try to see the team through the remaining overs so as not to expose another specialist batsman until the following morning. In this situation, the tailender is termed the "nightwatchman".

There are teams that have specialist bowlers who are also useful batsmen but, usually, a team will have from two to four bowlers who are unskilled as batsmen.

A cliché is "the tail wagged" and this is used when the tailenders unexpectedly score well, especially after the specialist batsmen have not.

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