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December 26, 2008
For the second consecutive time a Twenty20 in Auckland between New Zealand and West Indies ended with the scores level, but this time it was decided, not by a bowl-out, but a Super Over eliminator, which did not receive the backing of Daniel Vettori, whose side lost the match after failing to chase 26 runs in an over.
"I think a tie's a tie," Vettori was quoted as saying by NZPA. "What's wrong with a tie, I have no issues with it."
Trialled for the first time in an international match, the Super Over has each team nominate three batsmen to face an over against one bowler from the opposing side. If two batsmen are dismissed inside the over, the innings is considered complete. New Zealand lost Jacob Oram and Ross Taylor in the first five balls with only 15 on the board.
"I understand the appeal of it [Super Over]. I suppose if you're sitting on the other side of a win you might enjoy it. [But] the game is called Twenty20, it's not called one1. We don't want to dilute it too much."
At one stage during the chase West Indies were firmly in command, needing 33 of the final five overs with six wickets in hand, but New Zealand's bowlers managed to force a tie. Vettori praised the bowling performance but felt his batsmen should have put on more than the 155 they managed. "We were a little bit short," he told Sky Sports. "Maybe around 180 would have been a great score but I was really pleased with the fight we showed with the ball."
With seven runs needed off the final over, medium-pacer Tim Southee sent down four nerveless deliveries, picking up two wickets and giving only one run away. However, a thick outside edge off the penultimate ball raced to the third man boundary to ease the pressure on the visitors. "In the end we probably should have won the game but we messed up in the last couple of balls," Vettori said. "Getting eased away for four can be a little bit of a heartbreaker but I was pleased with the fightback."
Vettori was taken for 25 runs in the unofficial Super Over that followed the match but was not too concerned about it. "It's just sometimes the ground is not big enough for Chris Gayle and there were some great shots."
The man who clubbed Vettori for those runs, West Indies' captain Gayle, said he looked forward to another Super Over. "It's the first time I've experienced it but I thought it was a good one-over game." He also top scored with a 41-ball 67 and took two wickets in three economical overs.
Gayle praised the efforts of left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who took the two wickets required to decide the Super Over eliminator and conceded only 20 runs for a wicket earlier in the game. "Benn is a good bowler," Gayle said. "He is a very confident player and he wanted it. He wanted to bowl and I gave it to him. He delivered for us tonight under pressure and he deserves the credit."
The second and final Twenty20 of the series takes place in Hamilton on Sunday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough