Shreyas Gopal, who had already taken six wickets in his two previous games against Royal Challengers Bangalore, again proved to be the matchwinner in Jaipur. He threw a spanner in the works early in RCB's innings by dismissing Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer. Considering the quality of the batsmen dismissed and the stage at which the wickets were taken, ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats estimates that Gopal's three wickets were actually worth four. Gopal was very economical too conceding only 12 runs off his four overs. He was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match, and rightly so.
According to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats, Gopal's impact on the match was the greatest as shown by the contribution he made to the game. At 27%, Gopal's contribution to the match was the highest. While Parthiv Patel had the next-highest impact with a contribution percentage of 22.7, the third spot went to another legspinner in Yuzvendra Chahal with 16.1% contribution. The two legspinners had a collective contribution of 43% in the match - a number that neatly illustrates how the googlies bowled by them spun a web around the batsmen. (The contribution percentages are calculated by combining the batting and bowling efforts of all players in a game, and add up to 100 for all 22 players who played the match.)
Rajasthan Royals got their maiden win of the penultimate delivery of the match. They had already lost two close chases - against Kings XI Punjab in the first match and against Chennai Super Kings in the last game. The story could have been similar in this match as well, had they not got lucky in several ways. There were five catches dropped by RCB - of three batsmen - and there were five misfields or overthrows. In a T20 game, all these small events matter much in the end.
In his post-match interview, skipper Virat Kohli hinted at the catches dropped by RCB playing a role in his team losing the match. ESPNCricinfo's Luck Index looks at how the individual drops affected the outcome of the game.
|Batsman||Drop cost (runs)|
Ajinkya Rahane was dropped in the second over of the innings when he had faced just one ball. He added 20 runs after the drop, but Luck Index estimates that the drop actually cost three runs to Royals. Why? Because Rahane could not score quickly after that and ended up scoring 20 runs off 18 balls. According to Luck Index, other Royal batsmen could have used these 18 balls, given the conditions, and scored three extra runs. However, Steven Smith's drop helped Royals score three extra runs, while the drop of Rahul Tripathi in the 19th over added another five lucky runs. Had the catches been taken ESPNcricinfo's Luck Index estimates that RCB would have had 10 runs to defend off the last over instead of five runs. Royals had lost chasing 15 runs against Kings XI and 12 runs against Chennai Super Kings in the final overs.
Luck Index and Smart Stats are 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.