In a dramatic defence of what could be considered at best a middling target, South Africa came back strongly through their fast bowlers to pull off an incredible win in the second T20I of the series against Australia, in Port Elizabeth.
The home team had set a target of 159, and in response, Australia were well on track to chase it down comfortably. At the end of the 17th over, the visitors required 25 runs to win. ESPNcricinfo’s Forecaster pegged their win chances at 89.67%.
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A required rate of just over eight runs an over in the last three with seven wickets in hand should’ve been a cruise. But Lungi Ngidi led South Africa’s late fightback in the match to ensure the home team won by 12 runs. Ngidi came back strongly at death – as has been his wont in recent times – conceding just five runs from the 18th over and also took the wicket of the dangerous Mitchell Marsh. His first two overs had gone for 25 runs. Australia’s win probability after the 18th over had dipped to 66.83% – a whopping drop of 23% over just six balls.
Conventional scorecards don’t usually do justice to performances in T20 cricket: an economy of 10.25 in a 160-run game doesn’t say how well or badly the bowler bowled in crunch situations. How important were the wickets he took? That’s where ESPNcricinfo’s Smart Stats step in to provide context to the game’s fans.
According to Smart Stats Ngidi’s was the most impactful bowling performance of the match. The algorithm reckons that the three wickets that Ngidi took – of Aaron Finch, Alex Carey and Marsh – were actually worth more: 4.1 Smart wickets. Finch is a quality T20 batsman whose wicket value, given the relatively small total that South Africa were defending, was worth 1.7 Smart Wickets. Marsh’s wicket was valued high more because it cut down Australia’s win chances by over 20%.
Lungi Ngidi returned figures of 3/41 but was the most impactful bowler in the match according to ESPNcricinfo’s Smart Stats ESPNcricinfo Ltd
Ngidi’s bowling performance meant that he was the second-most impactful player of the match with 88 impact points. South Africa’s captain, Quinton de Kock, earned 126 impact points with his 47-ball 70 making him the most valued player of the match.
Smart Wicket Value is given for each wicket considering the following factors:- The quality of batsman dismissed, so dismissing a top-order batsman fetches more points than dismissing a tailender- The score at which a batsman was dismissed, so dismissing a batsman for a single-digit score is more rewarding than getting him out for 60- The match situation at the time of the dismissal, so dismissing a batsman when the match is in the balance is worth more than getting him out when the result of the game is all but decided.
Batting impact score is derived taking into account Smart Runs (factors taken are the innings run rate, required run rate at every ball when he scored his runs, the quality of opposition bowlers, wickets in hand, quality of batsmen to follow, and match situation) and the replacement benefit or cost to the team, as the case may be, if the batsman’s performance is replaced with the match average.
Bowling impact score is derived taking into account Smart Economy and Smart Wickets (factors taken are the phase in which he bowled, the current/required rate, the quality of batsmen dismissed, and the match context when he took his wickets) and the replacement benefit or cost to the team, as the case may be, if the bowler’s performance is replaced with the match average. Impact Score is a sum of the batting and bowling impact scores in each match.
Smart Stats is a part of Superstats, a new set of metrics by ESPNcricinfo to tell more enriching and insightful numbers-based stories. To know more about Superstats, click here. .