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In cricket, the run rate (RR), or runs per over (RPO) is the average number of runs a batsman (or the batting side) scores in an over of 6 balls. It includes all runs, even the so-called extras awarded due to errors by the bowler. Without extras and overthrows, the maximum run rate is 36 – if every ball were struck for six and, as such, this happens very rarely. During the 2007 Cricket World Cup match between The Netherlands and South Africa, South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs hit every ball in one over for six. The bowler was Dutchman Daan van Bunge. And then, on 19 September 2007 in the ICC World Twenty20 Super 8 match held at Kingsmead in Durban, Indian player Yuvraj Singh hit 6 sixes in an over up against English bowler Stuart Broad.
What counts as a good run rate depends on the nature of the pitch, the type of match and the level of the game. A Test match held over five days typically shows a lower run rate than a limited-overs game, because batsmen adopt a more cautious approach, whereas in limited overs cricket the batsmen must adopt a more gung-ho approach in order to achieve the necessary score to win.
Before the advent of the Duckworth-Lewis method, run rate was one of a number of methods used to determine the winner of a game which had been curtailed due to rain or bad light. It can also be used to separate teams in a league table with the same win-loss record, though that is usually done by the net run rate method.
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