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  • Writer's picturelinuslw

The Super Over

There have now been 11 super overs in men's T20 internationals (not counting two games between Qatar and Kuwait and one between Jersey and Guernsey , including two in the last week. New Zealand have taken part in seven of them, losing six and winning just one, a stunning amount, it's difficult to figure out why are they involved in so many. Another thing to ask is who bowls it for them - Tim Southee has been the go to man for the Kiwis, since 2010. His economy in super overs is nevertheless abysmal, at over 15. The first of Southee's six super overs resulted in his and the Black Caps only SO win, keeping Cameron White to just 6 off his over, New Zealand comfortably chasing the target down. The next time Southee was entrusted with the super over was in 2012, against Sri Lanka in the WT20. Bowling the first over again, Southee conceded 12, with no boundary, but 3 wides. And, Sri Lanka defended it, Lasith Malinga giving away just 7 runs as New Zealand lost in yet more agonising circumstances. Just 4 days later, New Zealand were at it again, playing the Windies, with Chris Gayle at the peak of his powers. New Zealand racked up an impressive 17, with batsman Marlon Samuels bowling the SO, but it once again wasn't enough - Gayle and Samuels smoking Southee for 19 in just 5 balls, knocking New Zealand out of the tournament. Fast forwarding 7 years (ignoring the World Cup finals shenanigans!), we come on to the final T20, of England against New Zealand. After both sides smashed 147 from their 11 overs, Southee bowled the Super Over, and conceded 17. They failed to chase it down, a Surely NZ would pick someone else for their next SO. But no, just 2 months later, they were taking on the Indians, equipped with the best death bowler in the world in Jasprit Bumrah. After needing just 3 from 5, with Kane Williamson on 95, the Kiwis choked, and once again it was a SO. Bumrah bowled NZ's, and they scored a superb 17. Needing 10 off two, with the game seemingly done and dusted, Rohit Sharma crashed Southee for two huge sixes to pull off a ridiculous victory. Southee in super overs: 4-1. The very next game, and NZ were cruising to victory, needing 11 off 12, when they compiled all their and South Africa's knowledge into one fatal choke. 4 wickets came in the last over, bowled by Shardul Thakur, and once again it was a Super Over, their fourth in the last 6 months. NZ hit Bumrah for 13, and once again it was down to the master of super overs. Oh wait sorry. Tim Southee. More length deliveries, and five balls later and India cruised to victory, King Kohli sealing the match with a four through midwicket. So, overall that is 34 balls and 90 runs, with 6 sixes and 3 fours, at an economy of 15.88.

The start of the super over wasn't taken with much appreciation. Many critics of the format said that the game should simply be tied, rather than faffing with another over, taking 15-20 more minutes. Others have said that when a super over is tied (a rare thing), there should be a boundary count back, but others say it should now be a tie. Another idea is for more super overs, which has been implemented by the ICC. It's still not a perfect system, but is a whole lot better than other ways of tie breaks, such as a bowl out.

The average run rate in super overs is 13.85, with 277 runs being scored in 120 deliveries, or the equivalent of a full innings. (These figures do not count two games between Qatar and Kuwait and one between Jersey and Guernsey). 12 wickets have been lost, and the super over has been finished before the last ball 3 times. The side chasing has won six times, compared to five wins for the side batting first. Furthermore, there has been one super over in ODIs, the World Cup final, of course, another loss for New Zealand (technically!)

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