How Many Overs are There in a T20 Match (ie IPL)?

With overs being an important aspect of a cricket match, here’s what you need to know.

Ankitjit Singh
Ankitjit Singh

Last Updated: 2024-04-05

Louis Hobbs

4 minutes read

Two Guajarat Titans players after winning a cricket match

Cricket is one of the most celebrated sports in the world and the leagues like Indian Premier League (IPL) make it even more popular. Considered one of the best sporting leagues in the world, the India T20 tournament has given a platform to a lot of players who now have become the mainstays of their national teams and are taking world cricket by storm with their performances. 

IPL has been host to some of the best cricketing action in the world. Over the year, we have seen many thrillers, nail-bitters and high-scoring fixtures, low-scoring games, dominating performances and many more. This is because the best players are up against the best in the league and they make sure that they leave no stone unturned in giving their everything to win the games for their team. 

Role of overs in cricket matches in the IPL

A set of 6 balls comprises over in a match. The bowler delivers six balls to the batter from one end and after that captain gives the ball to someone else. In a tournament like the IPL, where the margin of error is very low, things can change within the span of one over. Often we have seen the complexion of the game changing within the span of 6 balls and it has helped teams gain momentum and even win the matches. 

Image Credit: ICC Official Twitter (X) Account

Image Credit: ICC Official Twitter (X) Account

How many overs in an IPL match 

While almost every cricket lover is aware of all the rules and regulations of IPL games, few still don’t know how many overs are there in IPL matches. The Indian Premier League is played in a T20 format. Therefore both the teams have to bowl 20 overs each, thus making the IPL match a 40-over fixture overall. A total of 120 balls are bowled in each innings. 

Out of the 20 overs, the first six overs in both the innings of the IPL match are called as power play overs. In the powerplay, the fielding team is allowed to have only two fielders outside the 30-yard circle. However, once the first 6 overs are completed, the bowling team can have as many as 5 fielders outside the ring.

During the IPL game, teams are also allowed to take strategic timeouts. This allows players to discuss plans with the management as to how they can approach the game. There are two strategic timeout beaks in the IPL game, one for the bowling team, who have to use the timeout between 6 to 9 overs, and one for the batting team, who can take the break between overs 13 and 16. Each break is of 2.5 minutes.

There’s also a time duration for teams to complete overs in a specific period of time. Each team is given 90 minutes to complete their quota of 20 overs. However, if they fail to do so, they will be penalised. A team will be then allowed to have only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the last over the innings. Apart from this, the captain of the team might also get docked financially if the match referee imposes sanctions.

Out of the 20 overs in an IPL innings , one bowler can bowl a maximum of 4 overs. A team can use as many bowlers as they can from the player but no bowler can bowler more than 4 overs. The IPL follows the ICC’s laws and as per rule 13.9 from the “ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Playing Conditions” released in 2021, “No bowler shall bowl more than 4 overs in an innings”.


What is the duration of the IPL match?

The duration of an IPL match is 180 minutes. A team is given 90 minutes to complete their 20 overs. Between the innings, there will be a mid-innings 20-minute break as well. The duration of the IPL game can be shortened if the match gets affected due to rain, or bad light. In that case, four minutes and 15 seconds will be deducted for each over-lost from the total time.

Can a bowler Bowl 5 overs in an IPL game?

No, a bowler isn’t allowed to bowl 5 overs in an IPL game. A maximum of four overs is allotted to a single bowler in the league. In case of rain interruption, a bowler cannot bowl more than one-fifth of the total overs allowed.

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Ankitjit Singh
Ankitjit SinghSports Writer

I am just a guy in his early 20s whose dream was to play cricket but now believes his job is to serve cricket. I picked the cricket bat at the age of 3, pursued science as I grew up but eventually followed my heart to come into journalism and do the second-best thing in the world after playing the sport.