Cricket World Cup 2019: England deserved champions but alternate tie-breaker is need of the hour

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 10:17 17/07/2019
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Plunkett turned hero with the ball for England at Lord's.

Two days since arguably the greatest Cricket World Cup final of all time and the game is still being dissected.

England were declared winners even after the Super Over ended in a tie for having a superior boundary count. Needless to say, the decision has not been well received by many.

What other tie-breakers could have been used and which team would have come out on top? We visit a few options.

1. Super Over count-down

What if England and New Zealand had scored the same number of boundaries? As it turns out, in such a case, a Super Over count-down would have declared the winner. This means that the team that scored more runs on the last ball of their respective Super Over would have lifted the trophy. If the two teams scored the same number of runs, the scores on the fifth ball would be compared and so on.

Should this tie-breaker have been used ahead of the boundary rule, England would have still won. Jos Buttler scored a four off the last ball while Martin Guptill could manage just one run.

Winners: England

2. Runs off the bat

What if we subtract the extras from the teams’ totals and award the team that scored more runs off the bat? The Kiwis scored 211 runs off the bat, with England feeling very generous with the extras (30). The hosts scored 224 runs off the bat and would hence be champions if this tie-breaker was used.

Winners: England

3. Wickets lost

New Zealand (9) lost fewer wickets than England (10) in the 51 overs played and would have hence clinched the World Cup if this tie-breaker was used. But it’s worth noting that the team batting second is likely to lose more wickets, given they are chasing a set target.

Winners: New Zealand

4. Super Over sudden death

Successive Super Overs could have been played until we had a clear winner. This means that we would have a succession of Super Overs until one team came out on top, not dissimilar to sudden death of penalty shootouts in football. Theoretically it could go on forever, but practically we should have a winner by the end of the second or at least the third Super Over.

5. League standings

The first semi-final featuring India and New Zealand was played over two days due to rain playing a spoilsport on the first day and forcing the game to the reserve day. If the game was washed out on the reserve day, India would have qualified to the final by virtue of finishing higher up the table in the group stage.

If the same tie-breaker was used after England and New Zealand tied in the Super Over, the former would still be crowned champions. England finished in third place with 12 points while New Zealand finished a position below.

Winner: England

6. Head-to-head result

However, New Zealand had a game washed out and could theoretically have finished higher than England. With nothing to separate the two teams in the final, we take a look at what happened when the two teams met in the group stage. Since the game was part of the same tournament, it should make sense to use that as a tie-breaker to declare the champion. England (308/5) destroyed the Kiwis (186) at the Riverside Ground.

Winner: England

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