Yesterday we saw the fine margins that can decide the biggest trophies in the crazy world of sport.
A Super Over was needed to separate England and New Zealand in the World Cup final and even then the scores were level, the hosts won on most boundaries after 50 overs.
But how are other sports separated when it comes down to the wire? We delve into the different ways the biggest events are decided when the sides can’t be separated in the conventional ways.
Football finals have been decided by an array of methods before including Golden Goal, Silver Goal and a penalty shootout. Meanwhile, straws were drawn to decide who finished second and third in Ireland’s group at Italia ‘90. But none of these are comparable to a Super Over and there would only be one thing that would compare. A Premier League play-off.
It was a possibility last season heading into the final day but required two extreme results to take place as Manchester City won their second successive title. The points, goal difference and goals scored all have to be completely level after 38 games making it extremely unlikely.
It was also a possibility in 1995-96 as Newcastle and Manchester United tussled for the title. The Premier League bosses made plans for the game to be held at Wembley and even printed off the first batch of tickets for the game - if you got hold of one of these you have one of the rarest pieces of footballing memorabilia in the world!
The Rugby World Cup returns again this year and the England side will be looking to follow up the success in the cricket with another victory. Extra-time is remembered fondly by Englishmen as Johnny Wilkinson kicked that famous drop-goal in Australia to win the William Webb Ellis Cup back in 2003.
If extra-time can’t separate the teams then a period of ‘Golden Point’ is used to determine a winner. If there is still no score than the rarely seen kicking competition is used. It is a joy to see players not used to kicking, attempt a conversion.
Hockey / Ice Hockey
We wouldn’t normally mention sports that just have penalty shootouts to decide a winner but hockey’s shootouts are quite simply, the best. Running from outside the area, they have a set amount of time to score past the goalkeeper. They can score however they like but if the ball isn’t in the net by the end of time - they have missed.
They tried this in football in America which saw some cracking and slightly chaotic scenes in the NASL but ultimately it never took off. This is a fantastic way to end a game.
The classic and well-loved tie-break. Amazingly, we saw the most dramatic tie-break in Wimbledon history at the same time that the cricket was on, as the first ever fifth set tie-break was needed to separate the eventual winner Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Djokovic came out on top having saved two championship point and produced magic in those pressure points with the scores level at twelve apiece in the final set to win his fifth title at Wimbledon.
In badminton, if a set is tied a 29-all, a golden point is played to decide the winner. Pure drama.
A one hole play-off. If after four rounds and 72 holes of golf, players cannot be separated they will head to an extra hole to determine the winner. Lowest score wins. If they score the same, they move on to the next hole and play until somebody wins. These rules slightly vary tournament to tournament but the basic rules provide a brilliant finale of tension.
So those are the other sporting examples of cricket’s Super Over but to be honest, nothing comes close to the drama of yesterday. England are world champions and they did it in the most dramatic way possible.