New Zealand’s Super Over heartbreaks

Ian Smith might as well author a book on New Zealand’s tryst with Super Overs. Kane Williamson’s men have featured in three Super Overs in the last year including the historic 2019 World Cup final. On each occasion New Zealand have lost, the last two coming in T20I series at home against England and India. So imagine the state of Smith’s heart, having commentated on each of the games, including the close finish in Hamilton on Wednesday.

For those whose nerves are too frayed to relive the finishes all over again, ESPNcricinfo has spared you the gory details and put together handy summaries instead.

January 29 2020, Hamilton, v India

To begin with India did not even know there would be a Super Over. Defending nine off the final over in regulation time, Mohammed Shami started it watching Ross Taylor bludgeon a full toss high over midwicket for six and then finished it slinging in a pitch-perfect yorker that bowled Taylor, which meant the scores were tied. Indian captain Virat Kohli walked up to the umpires to shake hands, only to be told there would be a Super Over.

Then Jasprit Bumrah, who had bowled the second-most expensive spell in his T20 career, struggled to find the precision he is known for giving away 17 runs. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, experienced hands at handling pressure situations, were at the crease. Tim Southee, New Zealand’s most experienced fast bowler was once again entrusted by Williamson to bowl it, despite his mixed history with Super Overs.

New Zealand have played seven Super Overs in T20is and Southee has bowled the last five of those. But only once before today did he have to defend. It was in a group match of the 2012 World T20 in Pallekele, where New Zealand needed to defend 17 again and to do that he had to keep Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels quiet. Southee started with a no ball, Gayle crashed him for a six. He finished the over with a full toss, Samuels lobbed him high over a leaping Martin Guptill to seal the match with another six.

Today, Southee started strongly, giving away only three runs off his first two balls to Rohit. But Rahul then smartly moved outside his off stump and lapped him for an easy four, putting the pressure back on Southee. Rohit returned strongly, whacking an in-the-slot ball and a length ball for consecutive sixes, leaving Southee and New Zealand shaking in disbelief. Again.

November 10, 2019, Auckland, v England

The Super Over was nowhere in sight when Jimmy Neesham, defending 16 runs off the final over against England, had just given three runs off his first three balls including a wicket. Then Chris Jordan walloped a six, ran a two, and lapped a four leaving Neesham smiling in disbelief.

Southee failed twice in executing the yorker and both went sailing over the straight boundary as Eoin Morgan and Johnny Bairstow set a target of 18 for New Zealand, two more than the World Cup final. This time, however, New Zealand were not so far behind on boundary countback, needing just one more to level things up.

Unfortunately for the hosts, Martin Guptill was tied down at the non-striker’s end as Tim Seifert attempted to negotiate the variations of Jordan. Although Seifert did get a four, off the second legitimate delivery, the next was a dot followed by his dismissal, courtesy of a brilliant lunging catch from Morgan running back at cover. Guptill could then only run a single against a perfect yorker, as Jordan wrapped up the match with another dot ball.

July 14 2019, Lord’s, v England

You haven’t really forgotten how this one played out have you?