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Smart Stats: Rashid Khan BBL's all-time MVP, D'arcy Short the best batsman

The Afghanistan spinner takes top honours despite playing just 40 matches

ESPNcricinfo stats team
Rashid Khan has been one of the stars of the BBL  •  Getty Images

Rashid Khan has been one of the stars of the BBL  •  Getty Images

Rashid Khan's impact on the BBL has been incredible. In the last three seasons, he has taken 56 wickets at an average of 17.66 and strikes once every 17 balls. Khan concedes a boundary once every 11 balls. This means he conceded just about two boundaries per BBL match. That makes him the BBL's Most Valuable Player ( MVP) across all nine seasons in spite of playing just 40 matches as per ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats. His conventional economy rate of 6.36 is the best in the league.
Khan's ability to trouble the opposition batsmen year after year shows his value to the Adelaide Strikers who bank on him to bowl all the tough overs. His economy rate in the middle overs in the last three seasons is 6.06 and he averages 14 runs per wicket. The next best average in this phase is 19.61, by Sandeep Lamichhane. Rashid also has taken 25% of the Strikers wickets since his debut in the BBL.
According to Smart Stats, which looks at every batting and bowling performance through the prism of match context as well as the pressure on the batsman and bowler at each delivery, Khan's 56 wickets were worth 72 and his Smart Economy was 5.09. While all other bowlers in his team strike at 28.7, Khan Strikes once every 17 balls.
D'arcy Short is next in terms of impact points per match. His batting through the seasons has been top notch while his bowling has been useful too, and his impact for Hurricanes has helped him get a score of 53 points per match. There is little to separate the next three, with Jason Beherendoff, Nathan Coulter Nile and Glenn Maxwell completing the top five. Shane Watson, Chris Lynn, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and Travis Head are the others that make up the ten.
The bowlers dominated the overall impact but the most impactful performances in a match across nine seasons have come from batsmen. Short tops the match-wise top impact for his outstanding unbeaten 122 from 69 deliveries against Brisbane Heat in 2018. The next highest score was just 19 by Ben Mcdermott. While all batsmen struggled to get going it felt like Short was batting on a completely different wicket. Only one other batsmen had a strike rate of more than 100.
Stoinis features twice in this list - one for his all-round display, though in a losing cause, when he took three wickets and scored 99 from 51 balls, and another for his superb bowling performance under pressure to help Stars defend a total of 134. According to Smart Stats both these all-round displays comfortably trump his unbeaten 147 of 79 balls against Sixers earlier this year. Left-handers Craig Simmons and Matt Renshaw complete the top five.
Short is also the best batsman in the BBL, according to Smart Stats. His impact has been outstanding for a team that has been heavily reliant on two players. Short's batting impact score in the BBL is 40.29. He has scored 23% of the runs made by Hurricanes and plays an average of 29 balls per innings.
Short has had to repeatedly play long innings to prevent the middle order from getting exposed, and he has done it with a lot of success. Short has two centuries and 15 fifties from just 43 innings. The fact that he plays for a team that does not have too many high-impact players puts him high up in the Batting Impact rating.
Just like Short, Lynn faces the same challenge. Brisbane Heat also are heavily reliant on a couple of players to win matches for them. Lynn has had some amazing seasons for the Heat and has a score of 38.06. He is the league's top scorer and has a Smart Strike Rate of 167.1, the best in the league. Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh complete the top five in terms of batting impact.