What is a Super Over? Cricket's tie-breaker explained
What is a Super Over and how does it work? Our guide to cricket's tie-breaker has you covered.
What is a Super Over?
A Super Over is a method of deciding a limited overs cricket match that has ended in a tie.
How does a Super Over work?
In a Super Over, each team bats for one over (six balls) each. The team that scores the most runs in their over wins the match.
The team that batted second in the match always bats first in the Super Over, while the bowling team chooses which end they would like to bowl from.
Each team can nominate three batsmen for their over. Two of them bat from the beginning of the over, with the other available to come in if a wicket falls.
If the batting team loses more than one wicket, their over is cut short.
The bowling team nominate one bowler to bowl their over.
What happens if a Super Over ends in a tie?
Super Overs that ended in a tie used to be decided on a boundary countback rule, with the team that hit the most boundaries in the match winning.
After the 2019 Cricket World Cup final was controversially decided by this method, though, the ICC changed the rules.
From now, if a Super Over finishes in a tie, the two teams will simply play another Super Over. Super Overs continue to be played until one team wins.
What are the most famous Super Overs?
The first ever Super Over was contested by West Indies and New Zealand on Boxing Day 2008. After a tie in their T20 match, West Indies hit 25/1 off their over, and New Zealand could only muster 15/2 in reply.
The 2019 Cricket World Cup final between England and New Zealand produced by far the most famous Super Over in cricket history.
The scores were tied between the two in the regular 50-over match, before both teams hit 15 in the Super Over. England won the match by virtue of the now-defunct boundary countback rule, prompting lots of controversy.
How have ties previously been decided?
Historically, some tied matches have just been declared as a tie. This works particularly well in league formats, when the teams claim one point each from the match, rather than the two for a win.
A bowl-out has also previously been used. This is when five bowlers from each team bowl at an unguarded set of stumps, and the team with the most hits win.
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