A Super Over, also called a one-over eliminator or officially a one over per side eliminator or Oopse, is a tie-breaking method used in limited-overs cricket matches, where both teams play a single, additional over of six balls to determine the winner of the match. A match which goes to a Super Over is officially declared a "tie", and won by the team who score the most runs in the Super Over. If the Super Over also ends in a tie, the winner is typically decided by the number of boundaries scored throughout the match. The boundary count rule garnered criticism after the 2019 Cricket World Cup Final.
In October 2019, the International Cricket Council (ICC) updated its rules regarding the Super Over for ICC events. Group stage matches that are still tied after a Super Over will remain as a tie. Matches in either a semi-final or final that are tied, will continue until one team wins a Super Over.
A Super Over was first used in 2008 in Twenty20, replacing the bowl-out method that was previously used for breaking a tie match. The Super Over was introduced into One Day International (ODI) cricket at the 2011 Cricket World Cup knockout stage, but it was left unused. For the following World Cup, only the final would be decided by a Super Over in the event of a tie. Ties in other knockout-stage matches returned to the previous rule where the team with the better group stage performance would advance. In 2017, the ICC instated Super Over in the knockout stages of that year's Women's Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy. The 2019 Cricket World Cup Final marked the first ever ODI (One Day International) to be decided by a Super Over: after the two teams tied on runs in their Super Over, England was declared the winner over New Zealand on boundaries scored.
Views on use
The Super Over is often used in the group stage of Twenty20 tournaments. Journalist Sambit Bal described this use as being unnecessary for situations outside knockout stages. He sees a tie being a satisfactory result both to the teams and in entertainment value. Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson also criticised the practice after his team lost two matches by Super Overs in the Super Eight group stage of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. After their loss of the 2019 Cricket World Cup final to England in a Super Over, New Zealand coach Gary Stead suggested that the ICC should have considered awarding the championship jointly to both teams rather than play a tiebreaker.
Each team selects three batsmen, giving them two wickets for their Super Over. The team who batted second in the match bats first in the Super Over, while the bowling team chooses the end to bowl from. If the Super Overs of both teams also end in a tie, the winner is determined by either the number of boundaries scored throughout the match and Super Over, the number of boundaries scored throughout the match but excluding the Super Over, or a count-back conducted from the last ball of the Super Over. If the Duckworth–Lewis method was used during the match, the Super Over immediately goes to the count-back criteria.
Earlier, Super Overs ending in a tie had the winner first decided by the number of boundary sixes the teams hit in both innings, then by the sixes hit in the main match.
After the tied Super Over in the 2019 Cricket World Cup Final, which England won on boundary count, the ICC was criticised by many former cricketers and numerous fans for the use of such a controversial tie-breaker. In October 2019, they changed the rule such that if a Super Over is tied in the group stage of a tournament then the match will be awarded as a tie, but in knockout matches, the Super Over will be repeated until a winner is determined.. In any bilateral series match also the super over will be iterated until one team wins.
First Super Over
The first use of a Super Over was in the tied Twenty20 match between the West Indies and New Zealand on 26 December 2008. West Indies scored 25/1 in their Super Over and New Zealand replied with 15/2.
The 26 December 2008 Twenty20 match between New Zealand and the West Indies was tied after each sides' 20 overs.
- The West Indies "Super Over" score was 25 for 1 from six balls.
- The New Zealand Super Over score was 15 for 2 (all out) from five balls.
The West Indies thus won the Super Over.
2019 World Cup Final
After the World Cup Final at Lord's was tied after 50 overs, leading to the first Super Over in ODI history...
- - New Zealand bowled first in the Super Over having batted first to start the match. They chose to bowl to the Pavilion End and nominated Trent Boult as their bowler.
- - Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler opened the "mini-innings" for England.
- - Stokes and Buttler faced three balls each and scored 8 and 7 runs respectively, including one four each.
- England's Super Over score was 15 for 0 from six balls.
- - Jofra Archer was the nominated bowler for England.
- - Archer bowled a wide on his first delivery to James Neesham, with Neesham scoring 13 runs off the next 5 balls including one six.
- - Martin Guptill faced the last ball of the Super Over with two runs needed to win and was run out by Jason Roy and Buttler going for the second run.
- New Zealand's Super Over score was 15 for 1 from six balls.
The Super Over was thus also tied, with England being awarded the World Cup Final on boundary countback (26 to 17).
International matches decided by a Super Over
Men's One Day International
|14 July 2019||Lord's, London, England||England||15/0†||New Zealand||15/1||World Cup Final|||
† England won due to having more boundaries in the match (26–17).
Men's Twenty20 International
Women's Twenty20 International
|1 February 2020||Manuka Oval, Canberra, Australia||England||12/0||Australia||9/0||2nd|||
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