With just 30 runs needed off 24 balls and seven wickets in hand, ESPNcricinfo’s prediction tool had Delhi as firm favourites at a win probability of over 90%. What followed was, however, an inexplicable implosion of Delhi’s chase: they lost seven wickets for just eight runs in the space of 16 balls to lose the match.
Sam Curran and Mohammed Shami were the two bowlers who swung the game decisively in King’s XI Punjab’s favour. ESPNcricinfo’s Smart Stats recalibrates the performances of these two bowlers through Smart Wicket values. Curran ended up with figures of 4 for 11 from 2.2 overs that included a hat-trick. Shami’s figures of 2 for 27 were humbler in comparison.
But Shami took the important wicket of Rishabh Pant – the batsman who topped the Smart Runs chart in 2018 – to trigger Delhi’s slide. When he dismissed Hanuma Vihari in the 19th over, Delhi had slipped to the status of rank outsiders: Forecaster – ESPNcricinfo’s new score and win probability prediction tool – put their win probability at just over 21%. While Curran did take the all-important wicket of Colin Ingram, two of his hat-trick wickets were of tailenders and came at a stage when Forecaster had Delhi’s win chances at just 14.8%.
Smart Stats take into account the quality of the batsmen dismissed and the match situation in which the wickets were taken. Hence Shami’s two wickets were worth almost as much as Curran’s four: the left-armer’s wickets are valued lower at 2.57 and Shami’s higher at 2.55.