Pat Cummins' hefty auction price tag of INR 15.5 crore (USD 2.2 million approx) was much discussed after the bowler had been expensive in the Kolkata Knight Riders' first match against the Mumbai Indians. Cummins had gone for 49 runs in three wicketless overs in that game, his worst economy rate in a T20 match. However, KKR captain Dinesh Karthik backed the No. 1 ranked Test bowler to come good, calling it unfair to judge him based on just one bad outing. Cummins repaid that trust by returning the most economical figures in the match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats considers Cummins' efforts of 1 for 19 from four overs as the most impactful performance of the match ahead of Shubman Gill, who was officially named Man of the Match.
Cummins' spell fetched him 75 impact points, 10 more than what Gill got for his 62-ball 70 in what was in the end a comfortable chase for the Knight Riders. ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats goes beyond conventional numbers to look at the context in which a player performs. Cummins bowled three overs in the powerplay to one of the best opening pairs in this IPL - Jonny Bairstow and David Warner - and one over at the death. In addition to dismissing Bairstow, Cummins kept the opening pair quiet, conceding just 11 runs to them in the powerplay. At the other end, the other three powerplay overs went for 29 runs.
Cummins came back to bowl the 17th over in the innings and conceded just eight runs to two set batsmen, Manish Pandey and Wriddhiman Saha, who were looking to accelerate. Given the context of the overs bowled and the batsmen bowled to, and the fact that he went for just 4.75 runs an over in a match with an average economy rate of 7.7, the 19 runs conceded by Cummins were equivalent to only 9.4 Smart Runs.
Smart Stats recognises Gill's innings as being an important one for KKR, which is why it credits him with the second-highest impact score in the match for his team. But, given the pressure under which Cummins returned those excellent figures and also took the important wicket of Bairstow, he is Smart Stats' most impactful player of the match.