Few people who are new cricket fans know about what bowl out is. But if you don’t, worry not because we are going to explain it in this article. When two cricket teams end up scoring the same number of runs, bowl out was used to decide the winner.
While some might think it to be something which used to be practised recently, its use goes back three decades in time when it was first used in England (discussed later in this article). It was used very few numbers of times in international cricket. Let us discuss its first use in international cricket ever.
West Indies vs New Zealand (16th Feb 2006)
Both the teams ended up scoring 126 runs and as per the then guidelines of the ICC (International Cricket Council), a bowl-out was conducted. The Kiwis went on to win the bowl out and the match eventually. After this, bowl out was used in a World Cup T20 match between India and Pakistan in 2007 (discussed later).
First-Ever Domestic T20 Use
In a match between Surrey and Warwickshire, bowl-out had to be used since both of them scored the same number of runs (though DL was used). Surrey defeated their opponents since their bowlers hit the wickets more number of times.
Why Bowl Out was Replaced with Super Over?
The rule is no longer used in cricket as it has been replaced with super over. In a super over, after a match is tied, both teams are given an over each to score a maximum number of runs. This has also been well-received by the fans too. Today, it is a standard practice whenever a match gets tied. Tournaments like the IPL also use it to decide the winner when a match gets tied.
Rules of Super Over in Bowl Out
For a bowl out to happen, a match has to be tied first. Tied implies that both the teams should end up scoring the same number of runs at the end of a match. Then bowlers are asked to bowl and hit the stumps. Each bowler can bowl once or twice.
Whichever team ends up hitting the wickets a greater number of times in a set number of balls, is declared as the winner of the match. Only the bowlers decide about the result of the game. This is one of the reasons why it was removed from cricket altogether.
Why Was Bowl Out Removed from Cricket?
The issue with bowl out was that batsmen or other team players (fielders) weren’t able to contribute to their team’s performance or the result of the match.
This was against the very spirit of cricket. It should be noted that while many may refer to the game as a ‘batsman’s sport’, it is in fact, a team sport where the batsmen, bowlers and fielders are meant to be involved.
And you should also note that bowl out was used to decide the very result of a cricket match. Since it wasn’t feasible, it was replaced with better alternatives like super over. Where batsmen have a chance to score as many runs as possible, bowlers can contribute by taking wickets and fielders can save runs or assist in taking wickets.
Another reason was that bowl out seemed to be copied from football. It should be noted that football is a completely different sport than cricket.
First Match to Use Bowl Out
The first-ever match which was decided by using bowl out was between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire in the NatWest Trophy in June 1991. The match couldn’t be conducted on the match day and even the reserved day couldn’t help. The culprit, as you may have guessed, was rain.
Hence a bowl out was conducted. Derbyshire lost it to their rivals by 6-3. It was something that the organizers came up with as the weather wasn’t allowing things to continue. While many at that time believed bowl-out to be an unfair way of deciding on a winner, there was little which they could do.
Bowl Out In T20 World Cup 2007 (India vs Pak)
One of the most famous bowl out happened on 14th September 2007 between famous rivals, India and Pakistan. Both the teams had ended up scoring 141 runs in their innings. While Robin Uthappa, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag all managed to hit the wickets while bowling. But, Pakistani cricketers Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat all missed it.
It was a one-sided show and India won. Fans would also know that India later faced Pakistan again in the final of this World Cup where they again managed to defeat Pakistan in an exciting T20 World Cup Final.