What is a Super Over In Cricket and When Is it exactly Played?

Cricket’s an interesting game for diehard fans to watch. In spite of all the rules involved, it becomes easier and fun to follow through when you’re passionate about it.


Overs and runs are usually the parts of cricket that trigger adrenaline rushes among fans. What happens when both teams score the same number of runs and the game is almost over?


This is where a Super Over comes in handy and restores order.

What’s a Super Over?

It’s also known as a One Over Eliminator since it plays the significant role of determining the ultimate winners of the match. A super over is mostly applied when the cricket match in question has a limited number of overs.


What’s more, a Super Over also comes about when both teams successfully bat a maximum of 6 balls. Both the batting and bowling teams get an equal chance to pick one of their best batsmen and bowlers to represent their team.


Both teams still have to follow all the restrictions and rules that they did at the main match for a Super Over to proceed smoothly. However, there are a few changes that are ultimately adopted.


For instance, the team that was the second to bat during the main innings is given the privilege to go first during the Super Over. The innings will only come to an end when a team loses a maximum of 2 wickets.


A super over is concluded when the team that scores the most number of runs is officially declared the ultimate winner of the match.

This has happened before at the 2019 World Cup Final and caused quite an uproar both among the fans and the players. What happens next is that the team that scored the highest number of boundaries from both the Super Over scores and the main match is officially the winner.


The rubber meets the road when there’s a tie in the number of boundaries too. In the event that this happens, the team that scored the highest number of boundaries in the main match during the innings is declared the winner of the match.


This move is with the exception of the boundaries scored during the Super Over.

The very first Super Over was called in 2008 in a match between New Zealand and West Indies. Both teams scored 20 overs and the umpires were at a crossroads on how to determine the winners of the match.


A keen look into the baffling turn of events led to the follow up of every step of the match from both teams. There had to be a deeper look into factors such as innings, boundaries, runs, and deliveries.


Each of the factors played a significant role in shaping up Super Overs as they are widely used in the game of cricket to date. Rules have been drafted on the same to polish up Super Overs and the general outcome of any cricket game.

Super Over’s Crucial Rules

The International Cricket Council is a sensitive body that’s responsible for a set of regulations within the cricket pitch. One of them is to come up with a set of rules that should make cricket more orderly and enjoyable.


After a series of meetings and deliberations, the ICC was finally able to crack the code of any eventualities in international matches. These are some of the rules they came up with for the good of cricket;

  • In the event of a match where ties are the norm, the teams will engage in multiple Super Overs till the tie is eventually broken. There isn’t a definite number of Super Overs that the players must achieve but rather, the aim is to achieve a viable result. The number of Super Overs will only be up for discussion when a circumstance that’s out of the ordinary arises.

  • No delays or interruptions should bring the Super Overs to a halt. Instead, extra time will be allocated specifically to see to the smooth completion of the Super Over in session.

  • A Super Over is usually dependent on the weather conditions. An ICC referee is appointed to determine the time at which the match is supposed to begin. Ideally, a Super Over should start 5 minutes after the main match ends.

  • The Super Over is only played where the main match took place. The players may use a different pitch only when the ICC referee or umpires say so.

  • The Super Over only consists cricket players that have been nominated in the main match. In the event of an illness, injury, or other reasons, the same rules applied during the main match are also acceptable in the Super Over.

The Super Over rules are not consistent but are changed in regards to the present circumstances. For instance, the rules changed in 1 October 2012 and stated that in the event of a match that’s on a group stage, a tie is declared.


In a knockout match, the Super Over is repeated and continues all through till a winner finally emerges. Initially, the winner was declared depending on the number of boundaries that both teams scored during the innings.


Subsequently, this is followed by the number of sixes that both teams hit during the main match.

Do the Rules Still Apply?

All players and fans are aware of the fact that rules make up any game. Cricket is no exception and Super Over rules are there to prove it all. Though they change from time to time for various reasons, the Super Over rules are still alive and well.


For instance, the ICC made some updates in the initial rules in October 2019. However each of the rules stated are only applicable to Super Overs that happen in ICC events.


The ICC is still very keen on the main match to see whether they’ll need to make more adjustments on the same. In the meantime, the current Super Over rules are serving international and local cricket teams faithfully.

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