Ask Difference

Bowled vs. Clean Bowled — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on January 27, 2024
In cricket, 'bowled' refers to a method of dismissal where the ball hits the stumps. 'Clean bowled' specifically means the ball hits the stumps without any contact with the batsman's bat or body.
Bowled vs. Clean Bowled — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Bowled and Clean Bowled


Key Differences

Bowled: Being 'bowled' in cricket means the batsman is out because the bowled ball has hit the stumps, potentially after contact with the bat or body. Clean Bowled: 'Clean bowled' is a more specific term, indicating the ball has hit the stumps directly without any deflections.
Bowled: The term 'bowled' covers any situation where the stumps are hit by the ball delivered by the bowler, leading to the batsman's dismissal. Clean Bowled: 'Clean bowled' usually suggests a more skillful delivery by the bowler, as it bypasses the batsman's defenses entirely.
Bowled: A batsman can be 'bowled' even if the ball first touches their bat, body, or any equipment before hitting the stumps. Clean Bowled: In a 'clean bowled' dismissal, the ball does not touch anything except the stumps.
Bowled: The term 'bowled' is one of the basic methods of dismissal in cricket, understood by all players and fans. Clean Bowled: 'Clean bowled' is often seen as a more impressive feat for a bowler, showcasing accuracy and effectiveness.
Bowled: 'Bowled' dismissals are a key aspect of a bowler's strategy, aiming to breach the batsman's defense. Clean Bowled: A 'clean bowled' dismissal is particularly demoralizing for a batsman, as it indicates a clear breach of defense.

Comparison Chart


Ball hits the stumps leading to dismissal
Ball hits the stumps directly without deflection

Batsman Contact

Can involve contact with bat/body
No contact with bat/body before hitting stumps


Basic method of dismissal
Seen as a skillful delivery by the bowler

Effect on Batsman

Standard form of dismissal
Often more demoralizing for the batsman


Aim to breach defense
Showcase of accuracy and effectiveness

Compare with Definitions


Bowled is a common and fundamental way of getting out in cricket.
As a fast bowler, he often gets batsmen bowled.

Clean Bowled

It signifies no contact with the bat or body before striking the stumps.
The spinner clean bowled the batsman with a sharp turn.


Bowled dismissals are crucial for a bowlers statistics.
He ended the game with three bowled dismissals.

Clean Bowled

Clean bowled is seen as a particularly impressive form of dismissal.
The stadium erupted as the star player was clean bowled.


Bowled is a form of dismissal in cricket when the ball hits the stumps.
The batsman was bowled after a fast delivery.

Clean Bowled

This term indicates a complete breach of the batsmans defense.
The top-order batsman was clean bowled by a yorker.


A ball, traditionally made of wood, that is weighted or slightly flattened so as to roll with a bias, used in lawn bowling.

Clean Bowled

Clean bowled refers to the ball hitting the stumps directly.
The opening batsman was clean bowled in the first over.


A roll or throw of a ball in lawn bowling and other bowling games.

Clean Bowled

Clean bowled is often a testament to a bowlers skill and precision.
His ability to clean bowled the opponent is unmatched.


Bowls(used with a sing. verb) See lawn bowling.


A revolving cylinder or drum in a machine.


To participate in a game of bowling
I bowl every Thursday night in a league.


To throw or roll a ball in a game of bowling
It's your turn to bowl.


To hurl a cricket ball from one end of the pitch toward the batsman at the other, keeping the arm straight throughout the delivery.


To move quickly and smoothly, especially by rolling
The sportscar bowled along through the countryside.


To throw or roll (a ball).


To make (a specified score) in bowling
Placed first by bowling 237.
Bowled a strike in the first frame.


To perform (a specified amount, as a string or game) in bowling
She bowled eight frames before deciding to use a different ball.


To move quickly and smoothly by or as if by rolling
Bowled a tire from the garage.


To meet or strike with or as if with the force of a rapidly rolling object
The swimmer was bowled over by the wave.


Simple past tense and past participle of bowl


(cricket) (Dismissed) by the bowled ball hitting and breaking the batsman's wicket.


It can occur after the ball makes contact with the bat or the batsman.
He was bowled even though the ball nicked his bat first.


This term is used universally in cricket to indicate a specific dismissal.
The crowd cheered as the batsman was bowled.

Common Curiosities

How is 'clean bowled' different from 'bowled'?

'Clean bowled' specifically means the ball hit the stumps directly without any contact with the batsman's bat or body.

Can a batsman be 'bowled' if the ball touches their equipment?

Yes, a batsman can be 'bowled' if the ball strikes the stumps after touching their equipment.

Is 'clean bowled' considered a good delivery?

Yes, 'clean bowled' is often considered a display of skillful bowling.

What is the bowler's role in a 'clean bowled' dismissal?

The bowler plays a crucial role in a 'clean bowled' dismissal by delivering a ball that directly hits the stumps.

How common is a 'clean bowled' dismissal in cricket?

'Clean bowled' dismissals are fairly common and are a key aspect of a bowler's arsenal.

Does 'bowled' always mean the batsman made a mistake?

Being 'bowled' can be due to the batsman's error, but it can also result from an exceptional delivery by the bowler.

Is 'bowled' a dismissal that can happen to any batsman?

Any batsman, regardless of skill level, can be dismissed 'bowled.'

What makes a 'clean bowled' dismissal impressive?

A 'clean bowled' dismissal is impressive because it shows the bowler has completely outplayed the batsman.

What is the reaction of a batsman typically after being 'clean bowled'?

A batsman is often disappointed or surprised after being 'clean bowled,' especially if it breaches a well-set defense.

What does 'bowled' mean in cricket?

In cricket, 'bowled' means the batsman is out because the ball has hit the stumps.

Does the type of ball affect the chances of being 'bowled'?

Yes, the type of delivery, such as a yorker or a spinner, can increase the chances of a 'bowled' dismissal.

Can 'bowled' happen in all forms of cricket?

Yes, 'bowled' is a form of dismissal that can occur in all formats of cricket.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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