What is Super Over in Cricket?: A Complete Guide

What is Super Over in Cricket?: A Complete Guide

what is super over in cricket?

In any other sports, in the case of a tied game, the tiebreaker happens to decide the winner. If we talk about football, if the winner is not decided in the 120 minutes of the game, a penalty shootout is conducted between the teams. While in the case of a Rugby game, the sudden-death format is held to break the deadlock. So is there any similar scenario in cricket? Why there is a need for a term like Super Over in Cricket? Is it used when a cricket match is drawn?

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Imagine a scenario where Jasprit Bumrah is bowling his thunderbolts in the final over of the T20 World Cup. West Indies requires two runs off the last ball. Andre Russell is on strike. The gigantic T20 batsman fails to execute the shot on the last ball. The keeper receives the ball and throws it to the stumps. The ball misses the stumps and batsmen are successful to take a single run. Now there is a deadlock. How could we decide the winner? Should we give the win to West Indies as they lost fewer wickets than India during the innings? Wait for what! What about crowning India the World Cup champions as they scored more boundaries? The situation is very confusing! Which path should we take? International Cricket Council figured out a solution to this problem. The super over in cricket removes the deadlock and decides the winner.

When the Super Over in cricket is played?

In T20 cricket, whenever the game results in a tie, the Super Over acts as a tie-breaker. So for instance, if Team A has scored 152/8 in the first innings but Team B also finishes with the same score, the Super Over will decide the winner. You might be wondering if the Super Over is allowed in One Day Internationals.

Yes, it is allowed, but only in the case of a tie happening in the knockout stages of the tournament. Let’s give you an example. Pakistan and India are playing a World Cup quarter-final and the game results in a tie. We need to know the winner so we could decide on the semi-finalist. So the Super Over happens in ODI cricket only in the case of knockouts. In any other ODI game, the tie-breaker of the Super Over is not used.

Dinesh Karthik knows what is super over in cricket
Dinesh Karthik – Image source: Flickr

Rules of Super Over in Cricket

The team which batted second in the tied game bats first in the Super Over. Before the first innings of the super over, the batting team will decide the three batsmen who will play the game. The bowling team decides who will be bowling the enthralling super over. The batting side has a maximum of two wickets in hand. The small game works like any other typical cricket match. So among the two teams, the team which scores the highest wins the game.

History of Super Over in Cricket

In the earlier days, following the tied game, a bowl-out contest was used to be held between the teams. The teams were used to select five players for the contest of hitting the stumps. The team that would hit the stumps most times was crowned the winner. The results of three T20 Internationals were decided by a bowl-out contest. Well, the concept was pretty much similar to the idea of penalties in football. As soon as the time did go, cricket decided to follow its own way. Now the Super Over is used always to decide the winner of the game. As you learned about Super Over, you might want to see the chances of any Super Over happening in the T20 World Cup 2021 on the best online sportsbook sites in the UK.

Did the Super Over happen in the past or is it a new rule of cricket? The first Super Over in cricket happened in 2008 when the T20 international game between West Indies and New Zealand ended in a tie.

Chris Gayle scored a blistering knock of 25 runs against the Kiwi left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori. New Zealand failed to chase the mammoth total in the second over. The most interesting fact is that 17 Super Overs have been held in international cricket thus far. The 25-run tally is still the highest score by any team. So according to Wikipedia, New Zealand has participated in the Super Over 7 times in international cricket. It is the highest number of times a team has played a Super Over. However, out of 7 times, the Kiwis were victorious for the only time in the tie-breaker. The second on the list are the following teams: India, Pakistan, and West Indies, which have played 2 Super Overs each.

what is super over in cricket?

What if the Super Over in cricket is also tied?

Let’s build the story first to help you understand it clearly. Just imagine the prestigious stadium of Lord’s is hosting the ODI World Cup final which is the grandest event. England and New Zealand are facing each other. The teams which have never won the World Cup in the past. The winner will have his name in the record books. The drama happens and the game between the finalists is a tie. No problem, we have the tie-breaker to assist us. The Super Over will decide the winner of the grand finale. We will finally know after four years of waiting who is the conqueror of world cricket.

England bats first against New Zealand in the Super Over. They score a convincing total of 15 on the board in the World Cup final. It looks fine on the paper. New Zealand will never be able to chase it. Things happen! Black Caps need 2 off the last ball to win the World Cup final. Martin Guptill hits the ball straight to the fielder. The batsmen run hard all the way believing that the World Cup is theirs. Do you believe it? The fielder returns the ball to the team and the Black Caps fail to score a couple on the last ball.

The biggest of events and even the Super Over could not assist us. Well, you can say that author maybe you are daydreaming, this kind of story doesn’t happen in the real life. But this was the story I did not create. It’s the actual incident that occurred at the ICC World Cup 2019 Final. England was awarded as the winner on the basis of the highest boundaries in the game according to the rules.

what is super over in cricket?
Image source: Bahnfrend, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Change of rules in Super Over following the World Cup Final

Well, the rule faced a huge backlash as the disappointed fans refused to accept England as the winner. According to the cricket pundits, the trophy should have been shared between England and New Zealand. The event turned out to be extremely disappointed for Black Caps. The hearts were won but they remained a little far from gaining the trophy. So England won the first ODI World Cup after the extreme drama in Super Over. Anyway, do you think that Black Caps now stand any chance to win the mega event this time around? Find out by going to the best online sportsbook sites in the UK.

Watching the reaction of the pundits to the rules, International Cricket Council decided to make changes to the rules. Following the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 final, the winner will not be decided with only one Super Over if the Super Over is also tied. One additional Super Over will be played to decide the winner. In the case of an extraordinary instance, where both the Super Overs are tied, the winner will be decided on the basis of boundary count. The team which scored the most boundaries in the game will be regarded as the winner.


Cricket is one of the most followed sports in the world. In the countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the cricketers are treated like celebrities. Whenever any grand cricket tournament like the World Cup initiates, fans are on their toes. The cricket fanatics are glued to their television screens. Whenever AB de Villiers failed to play the delicate cut-shot against Afridi and Lala celebrated in his signature style, Pakistanis back in Lahore and Karachi mimicked his celebration. The leg-side flick of Virat Kohli at M Chinnaswamy Stadium Bangalore is something that every IPL fan pays to watch. Not to forget the Pakistani batting giant Babar Azam who amazes our eyes with his splendid stroke-play.

If you are a new follower of the game, you’ll hear the misconception from your European friends. That cricket is a boring game and it is pretty difficult to understand. You need too many gears and equipment to just play the game. There is no fun in cricket. Understanding the rules of cricket is not complicated. If you have learned the basics, the rules like Powerplay and Super Over are easy to learn.

Super Over in cricket was brought to end the scenario of ties in the games. The scenario of a tie still remains in the usual One Day International game, where no Super Over is held. Super Over assists to decide the winner in the knockout game. Also, one key rule to remember is that Super Over is held in all types of T20 games in the case of a tie.

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I’m a Crictrovert: Introvert x Cricket Enthusiast. I like to speak less and write much. I’m shaky like Asian batsmen under clouds while expressing opinions verbally but comfortable like Kohli in chase while speaking textually.

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