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5 Jun 2011

Tied match in cricket: Do you prefer "bowl out " or "super over"?

T20 format is one step ahead of its predecessor in deciding the fate of a "tied" match. Unlike in ODI and Test, the matches in T20 cricket do not eventually end with the segregation of equal point between teams. ICC has experimented with couple of rules during some T20 matches, where both teams manage to score the same total.
Let's look at those rules:

 Bowl Out

If you rewind your memory back to 2007, you might remember the famous tied match between India and Pakistan in the first T20 world cup. India managed to win this match by getting all bowling hitting to the stumps, while Pakistan could not get even one. This was the first bowl out being used in the international cricket. However, the bowl out was first implement in a county clash between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire at a Natwest Trophy match in 1991. Hertfordshire won the match with 2-1 result in bowl out. 

So, what is a Bowl Out? I guess it is somehow inspired from the penalty shootout (sudden death) rule of football. Here, each team will be allowed to bowl 5 deliveries at an unguarded stumps. The team gains point each time a ball hits the stump. After the end of 5 deliveries, the team with more hits will be declared winner. If both teams end up at same points after 5 balls, then the process continues until one team exceeds over another in total number of hits. Isn't it exciting? Let's look at the video from that historical bowl-out of India-Pakistan match and feel the excitement (Movie starts at 5 secs).

Super Over 
Super over, or one over "eliminator" is another rule that has been in trend in recent tied matches in T20 cricket. It can be seen purely as a rule coming out of cricket book, not like the Bowl Out that is regarded as a copy cat from football. That's why super over has replaced bowl out in current cricket. What happens in "super over" is, each team will create their mini brigade of utmost 3 batsmen and a bowler. It is much into the team's strategy to decide which players will bat and bowl. The team batting first will try to score as much runs as possible in 6 deliveries. The second team will then try to chase the target in the allocated one over.

Rules in super over:

1. The team batting second in the match will bat first in super over.
2. The team will be all out if they lose 2 wickets.
3.  In case the super over produces no decisive result, the team with the maximum sixes during the match will be declared winner (I don't know why we have to play super over if the decision can be made on the basis of the number of sixes).
4. No field restrictions.

Super over was implemented first in a match between West Indies and New Zealand. Batting first, West Indian batsman Chris Gayle produces 25 runs off Daniel Vettori in the super over. In reply, New Zealand could only manage 15 runs in their super over inning.

Let's look at the "super over" video between Australia and New Zealand. Kiwis won the match.

In recently concluded Cricket World Cup, we witnessed a tied match between India and England. Could it have been better if there was a "bowl out" or a "super over" in that match to decide the winner? A question that I want to ask to all the cricket fans; do we actually need a rule for a tied match? Do you believe that a tied match is much exciting in rare cases because it makes us hold our nerve and excitement till the last ball being bowled. [I am not in favor of draw match though, it's kinda boring and should have a way to decide the winner].

Meantime, how do you rate the two rules mentioned in this post? Would you prefer "bowl-out" or "super over"?

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