Top 3 Super Overs in Cricket History
New Zealand lost the 2019 World Cup after the Super Over ended in a tie (ICC Twitter)
There are a very few spectacles in cricket that evoke as much excitement and anticipation as a tied encounter between two teams. The pulsating rhythm of the game reaches its crescendo, leaving fans on the edge of their seats and their hearts pounding in unison with the players.
To unravel these intense encounters and crown a winner, the concept of a Super Over emerged which grants both teams an opportunity to showcase their mettle in a brief but electrifying burst of six balls, aiming to score as many runs as possible. Only three batsmen from each side are permitted to take part in the one-off over, though the team's aspirations can be cruelly quashed should they lose both wickets in the over.
Over the years, the advent of the super over has transformed the landscape of cricket, propelling these nail-biting finishes to dizzying heights of drama and exhilaration. The Super Over was introduced in 2008 during a scintillating T20 clash between West Indies and New Zealand. Since that watershed moment, when Chris Gayle single-handedly managed a gripping super over victory, a host of exciting battles have unfolded.
Let’s relive the top three Super Overs that in cricket history that have forever imprinted their mark on the sport.
3. Pakistan vs Australia in 2012 – Dubai
A scintillating T20 encounter unfolded between Pakistan and Australia in 2012, etching its place as an unforgettable spectacle in the hearts of cricket enthusiasts. The match's pinnacle built steadily, culminating in a nerve-wracking climax that left fans on the edge of their seats. Opting to bat first, Pakistan displayed their batting prowess, mustering a commendable 151 runs in their allotted 20 overs. The target of 152 seemed eminently attainable on the scorecard for the Australian contingent. However, destiny had other plans in store, as Australia mirrored Pakistan's total, leading to a deadlock that took the game to the Super Over to determine the victor.
With the spotlight glaring upon them, Shane Watson and David Warner strode purposefully to the crease and set 12-run target for the Pakistani team. In response, Umar Akmal and Abdul Razzaq donned the mantle of opening the innings for Pakistan. On the other hand, the onus of delivering the all-important over fell upon the capable shoulders of Pat Cummins. In five balls, the Pakistani batsmen rallied to accrue 11 runs. The atmosphere was electric, as the home team teetered on the edge of victory, with just a solitary run required from the final ball.
Akmal, at the striker's end, skillfully guided the ball through the off-side and run for a single, fully aware of the imminent threat of a run-out. As fate would have it, the fielder's throw missed its mark, granting him a reprieve and sending the Pakistan camp into a frenzy as the jubilant cheers reverberated through the stadium.
2. Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020 – Dubai
In a thrilling encounter in IPL 2020 in Dubai, Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab engaged in a high-octane battle that is still fresh in the minds of cricketing enthusiasts. Mumbai Indians set a massive target of 176 runs, courtesy of a blistering half-century from Quinton de Kock and complemented by invaluable contributions from the likes of Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, and Nathan Coulter-Nile. In response, Punjab matched the formidable score, courtesy of an exceptional display led by their captain, KL Rahul, who wielded his willow to amass an impressive 77 runs off 51 balls.
With the match deadlocked, the tantalizing prospect of a Super Over unleashed an unparalleled frenzy among the spectators. In the first Super Over, the Indian pace stalwarts Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami stepped up to shoulder their respective team's hopes. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock strode to the crease, armed with the daunting task of propelling Mumbai Indians to victory, while KL Rahul and Nicolas Pooran embraced the challenge for the Punjab Kings. As the high-octane contest unfolded, both teams found themselves level on five runs at the end of the over, leaving the Mumbai Indians agonizingly close to clinching the win, only to falter on the final delivery.
MI vs KXIP (IPLT20.com)
Undeterred by the tantalizingly close miss, the two sides readied themselves for another gripping Super Over. However, a twist of fate mandated a change in both batting and bowling order, prohibiting the same players from participating in the second over. This time, Trent Boult and Chris Jordan shouldered the weight of their respective teams' aspirations. MI sent Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard to the middle, who helped their side post 11 runs.
This time around KXIP fueled by the brilliance of Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal, proved to be the game changers. In a mere two deliveries, Gayle and Agarwal engineered a magnificent chase, steering their team to a glorious triumph, securing the coveted two points for the Punjab-based franchise.
1. England vs New Zealand – ICC World Cup 2019 Final – Lord’s, London
In a historic clash that will forever be etched in the cricketing history, England ascended to the summit of world cricket, capturing their maiden ICC World Cup title in a thrilling encounter against New Zealand at the Lord's.
The pulsating drama unfolded on a momentous Sunday, where the regulation 50 overs ended in a nail-biting tie, with both teams amassing an identical total of 241 runs. Even the ensuing Super Over failed to separate the two sides, as they matched each other yet again, scoring 15 runs apiece in their respective overs.
Martin Guptill was run out by Jos Buttler (ICC-cricket.com)
The journey towards this remarkable climax began with England chasing New Zealand's competitive total of 241 runs. In an enthralling finale, the English side found themselves on the brink of victory, needing two runs off the final ball of the 50th over. However, Mark Wood was unfortunately run out while attempting the second run, leaving the scores level and the game hanging in the balance.
The Super Over, fraught with tension and anticipation, witnessed the home team unleashing their attacking prowess. Ben Stokes, resolute in his unbeaten innings of 84, returned to the field alongside Jos Buttler, ushering in unprecedented scenes of tension and drama as the duoscored 15 runs in the Super Over.
In response, Jimmy Neesham provided a fitting exclamation mark with a six off Jofra Archer's bowling. The Kiwis then faced the daunting task of chasing down two runs from Archer's final delivery. Alas, Martin Guptill's desperate bid for a second run ended in a run-out, and England, buoyed by their higher boundary count on the day, emerged triumphant, etching their names in cricketing folklore. England had scored an impressive 24 boundaries, while New Zealand had hit 16.