What is a Super Over


Before the introduction of a super over in limited-overs cricket, the net run rate or the number of wickets at hand were used to decide the victor. However, to keep up with the times the super over was introduced as a tie breaking method.


The Super Over was first brought into play in 2008 in T20 match and then rolled out to the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. It was not utilised in 2011 and was relegated to being used only in the final of the following world cup. The knockout stages returned to the old method of deciding winners where the team with a better performance would advance to the next stage.

Super Over in World Cup 2019

In 2017, the super over was reinstated for the knockout stages of the Women’s World Cup. The first ever one day international to use the Super Over also turned out to be the most significant that year as it was used to decide the champion in World Cup Final 2019. To make matters even more exhilarating for the viewers, the teams were tied on runs in the super over as well. England were ultimately declared the winners based on the number of boundaries that they had scored.

Super Over Rules

The official rules were made public in the Standard Twenty20 International Match Playing Conditions, in effect from 1 October 2012. Each team is required to select three batsmen which gives them two wickets to score the highest amount of runs in an over. It makes sense for teams to choose their power or pinch hitters such as Chris Gayle or Shahid Afridi to maximise on the six balls they are given.

The super over starts with the team who had batted second in the match. The bowling teams decides which end to bowl from. If the teams end up in a tie in the super over which has happened only once (Cricket World Cup ‘19) then the winner is determined by one of the three ways –

Number of boundaries scored in the match plus the Super Over

Number of boundaries scored in the match excluding the Super Over

Count-back conducted from the last ball of the Super Over

It is safe to say that awarding England as the winners of World Cup 2019 was a controversial decision. The ICC had to face the wrath of angry New Zealand fans and former cricketers who were unhappy with the way the outcome of the final was decided. Gary Stead, coach of the New Zealand team had gone as far to suggest that the trophy should be awarded to both teams.

To avoid another backlash in the future, ICC in their infinite wisdom decided to change the rules in October 2019. As per the new rule, if the Super Over is tied in the group stage of a tournament, then the match will be settled as a tie. In the knockout stages however, the super over must be repeated until a winner is determined.

The Super Over has also made its way into group stage of T20 events though journalist Sambit Bal is not convinced of its inclusion. As per Bal, a tie is a satisfactory result for matches outside of the knockout stages. The sentiment was also shared by former New Zealand coach, Mike Hesson who criticised its use after his team lost two matches to it in group stage of the 2012 ICC World T20.

IPL Super Over

As if the biggest T20 tournament in the world was not exciting enough for fans, teams, and punters alike, the super over has also made its way into the IPL. The level of cricket betting options that are offered by the bookmakers for the Super Over are truly astonishing. The bookmakers are able to provide such enticing odds because the likelihood of a super over occurring is very low.

Unfortunately for bookmakers, the first ever Super Over was played between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2009. Given a target of 153 by Rajasthan, Kolkata started off the match on a positive note with a half century from captain, Gautam Gambhir. KKR were unable to press on and wickets fell at regular intervals including an unfortunate mix up between the batsmen leaving them at 152 / 8.

The match then spilled over to the super over with KKR scoring just 15 in their allotted six deliveries. Rajasthan Royals with the help of Yusuf Pathan were able to overcome the target with 2 balls to spare thus winning the first ever IPL Super Over.

Fans did not have to wait long for the next Super Over which came in a match between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2010. Batting first, KXIP made 136 which was considered a subpar for the venue. Chennai Super Kings stumbled in their case and ultimately scored the same number of runs. Enter the Super Over and CSK fans were expecting plenty of explosive batting from the likes of Dhoni & co. Much to their dismay, CSK only scored 9 off 5 deliveries. Kings XI Punjab were able to reach the target in just 4 balls.

With Super Overs being a feature in back to back IPLs, fans were expecting similar levels of excitement for the third IPL. However, they had to wait three years for another in a clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both teams managed to score 130 runs in their allotted 20 overs. In the Super Over, the Sunrisers smashed 20 runs while the Challengers could only muster 15.

Royal Challengers Bangalore did not have to wait long to redeem themselves, as they were once again put into a super over, this time by Delhi Daredevils. RCB scored 15 runs in 6 deliveries while the Daredevils made 11.

IPL 2014 saw a rematch of the Super Over battle between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals. The result was the same with albeit under more exciting circumstances with both teams scoring 11 runs in 6 deliveries. The Royals would win once again, this time on the basis of boundary count.

In the next season, the Royals were involved in a high scoring match against the Kings XI Punjab. Both teams ended their allotted overs at 191 runs each setting up a super over showdown. KXIP set a target of 16 runs that the Royals were unable to chase.

In IPL 2017, Gujrat Lions were put into a Super Over by the Mumbai Indians as both teams scored 153 runs in their 20 overs. MI were able to score 11  while the Lions could only score a run a ball 6.

The 2019 season of IPL witnessed two Super Over games. The first took place between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals. Both sides showcased their batting prowess by scoring 185 runs. Put into bat first, DC scored just 10 runs, giving KKR a target of 11 to win. KKR were unable to reach the target losing the match to Delhi by three runs.

The last IPL super over came courtesy of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. With the scores tied at 162, both teams were forced into a tie breaker. MI were able to get the better of their opponents by scoring 9 runs compared the 8 scored by SRH.

Title: What is a Super Over

Posted On: 08/05/2020

Author: Tony Willets