Prior to the final between England and New Zealand, One-Day International cricket never witnessed the Super Over tiebreaker which is often played out to Twenty20s. However, the ICC introduced this tiebreaker to determine the winner in case any of the knockout matches end up in a Tie. An ODI ending in a Tie itself is a rare event as only on in 100 ODIs at an average ends as a Tied match and we witness a tie almost once in 50 T20Is.
Off the 11 Super Overs played in T20Is thus far, none of those ended in a Tie. This says how rare a phenomenon it is that even the Super Over ends in a Tie. The World Cup 2019 final can well be considered as once in a generation game in limited-overs Internationals and probably the most unique and rarest match in the ODI history. Over the years, various tiebreaker rules were used to determine the winner in case an ODI concludes with both teams at evens.
Here we look at the ODI matches that ended in a Tie and a tiebreaker had to be used:
4. England vs New Zealand, 2019 at the Lord’s:
The equation for England to win the World Cup title was three runs to get from two balls and Ben Stokes could only get one run each on the last two balls with Adil Rashid and Mark Wood getting run out on each of those deliveries. Thus, ODI cricket witnessed its first-ever Super Over. England, who batted first, scored 15 runs in the one-over eliminator. New Zealand got 13 from first four balls and a single on the 5th brought down the equation to two needed from the last ball.
Martin Guptill, who faced his final ball of the Super Over, hit on straight to mid-wicket fielder Jason Roy. He gathered the ball and sent a clean throw towards the wicketkeeper Jos Buttler who had placed himself in a really good position to remove the bails well before Guptill had a chance to get back. Both the teams made 15 runs in the Super Over which was also tied.
However, England won the title as they hit more boundaries than New Zealand in the actual game and Super Over combined. The hosts hit 26 including two in the Super Over while the Blackcaps struck 17.
3. Australia vs South Africa, 1999 in Birmingham:
In the all-important 1999 World Cup semi-final, South Africa needed nine runs from the last over with only one wicket in hand. It was all stacked up in favour for them to win. They had put in all the hard work to that point and with a dangerous batsman at the crease had the best chance of going through.
Lance Klusener hit the first two balls of the over for boundaries to level the scores. They now needed one run to win with 3 balls in hand but just one wicket. On the 4th ball, Allan Donald got run out while attempting a run that didn’t exist. As a result, the game ended in a Tie.
The tiebreaker used that time to determine the finalist was the head to head record of the two sides in the tournament. Australia thus edged past the Proteas having won the group stage match and went into the final. It was one of the biggest heartbreaks in South African cricket.
2. Pakistan vs Australia, 1988 in Lahore:
It was a tough situation in Pakistan, there were enormous law and order disruptions all across the countries while they were hosting Australia for a cricket tour. Despite all the riots that were happening in the other parts of the country Australia played the 1988 Wills Challenge match in Lahore.
The Aussies batted first and finished with a good looking score of 229/8 in the restricted 45 overs of play. Pakistan, in their response, levelled the scores with two balls to spare. They still had wickets in hand and thus in the best position to win. However, as unlikely as it would’ve appeared they lost a wicket and then failed to score the one run needed to get over the line.
Wasim Akram got out on the penultimate ball while Abdul Qadir couldn’t scamper the winning run on the final ball and ended the game in a Tie. After which, Pakistan were declared the winners as they lost fewer wickets in the match.
1. India vs Pakistan, 1987 in Hyderabad (LBS):
Pakistan stood one win away from taking an inaccessible lead in the 6-match ODI series against India in India after winning the first two matches. Chasing the home team’s total of 212/6 from 44 overs, the Men in Green were 211/6 going into the final ball of the game.
Abdul Qadir was dismissed on the last ball of the match attempting the 2nd run. This put Pakistan behind on the tiebreaker of the team losing the fewest number of wickets. However, had Qadir not saved his wicket on the last ball, the countback at 30-overs would have been considered and Pakistan would have lost in that as well.
Moreover, it was an umpire blunder that saw India getaway. Only three fielders were present in the inside circle when Kapil Dev bowled the last ball. If the umpire had rightly declared it a no-ball, Pakistan would have won the game with one ball to spare.
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