Bring Back The Bowl Off

For the second time in as many matches, yesterday’s Twenty-20 cricket international between New Zealand and the West Indies ended in a tied match.  

Last time they used a bowl off to determine the winner, with bowlers from each team bowling at unprotected wickets.  Hit and miss!  It was fantastic.

However, this time around they used a new system.  Once again this was apparently the first time this system has been used, and there seems to be some confusion about what it’s called – either The Eliminator, or The Super Over.  

I would suggest The Shambles.

When you have a tied match there are a couple of possible options which would all make much more sense than this crazy system.

To keep it simple they could come up with some other measure by which to determine a winner immediately – e.g. the team who has lost the fewest wickets, or the team who has hit the most sixes or boundaries during the match, or the team with the highest individual scorer … whatever, there are hundreds of candidates.

If they insist on a tie-breaker then there are three important criteria:

  1. It needs to be quick – Yesterday it took more than 30 minutes from the end of the match to determine a winner.  In proportion to the length of the whole match, that’s too long.
  2. It needs to be decisive – Giving each team another over is not necessarily going to produce a clear winner, so there is a reasonable chance that you go through this whole process and still end up picking a winner by some arbitrary measure (see above).
  3. It needs to be obvious – I don’t know how well they explained what was going on to the crowd at the ground, but I’m assuming that there were lots of people who were totally lost.  The commentator on TV read out the full list of rules, and confused more than he clarified.  

The model here should be the penalty shoot-out in football.  Sure it’s a terrible way to determine the winner, but it’s immediate and dramatic, and at the end one team is the winner and one team is the loser – and the poor bugger who missed the decisive shot is devastated.  Perfect!

Frustratingly, there is an obvious method they could use which would meet all of these criteria. 

Bring back the bowl off, I say!

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Bring Back The Bowl Off”

  1. But people watching cricket (the un educated masses who find even a one day match too long) want to see hits. As a popularity sport, hitting 6s is more exciting than bowling

    But last night it all could have happen super fast, however NZ cricket is only allowed one day nighter at eden park – which is why the lights did not come on during the west indies innings.

    but for it to continue they needed to turn on the lights

    So really the shambles came down to NZ cricket’s scheduling.
    Bring back the test match on boxing day at the basin says I

  2. We were at the last game for the “bowl-off” and it was just as bad then. Once the main game was a draw we had no idea what was happening and it took forever to be decided (and quite an embarrassment for some bowlers).

    My vote goes to most 6’s hit during normal play. If you play it safe and pussyfoot around then you risk the win.

  3. I think the bowl off sucked. I agree that last night was pretty bad too.
    An idea:
    1 Bowler & 1 Batsman aiming for a ‘6’ or nothing (following a football penalty shootout format: but rather than having to score a goal from the spot, you aim to hit a six).

  4. I enjoyed the spectacle, it was just a shame about delay caused by lights and confusion. Tactically it was interesting as both teams went for a spinner for the super over which seemed the correct thing to do at the time but maybe they’d go for a different type of bowler next time.

  5. Here’s my idea: One batter from either side pads up and goes to each end, one bowler from either side gets to bowl at him. No running (by the batsmen). First wicket or 6 ends the game. Only problem I can see: how to arrange the fielders. I guess if you simply say your fielders can be out there but they can’t move unless your bowler is in action? Hmmm. I dunno, perhaps not as viable as I thought when I started this paragraph.

  6. The bowl-off did suck. How we won ours against the West Indies last time 3-0 I have no idea; how did professional bowlers miss the stumps three times in a row?

    I thought the six-a-thon was brilliant for the two minutes it lasted, with the 20 minutes delay being utterly unacceptable. To simplify it perhaps just one batsman from each team could suit up and face six balls from an opposition bowler with sixes being the only scoring shots. This would allow both teams to be in the field at once to help avoid the “innings” change.

  7. Fix the delay next time (that’s pretty easy) and this system is brilliant. The spectacle was amazing.

    Either that or just take the draw. Why did we need a winner anyway?

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