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%.
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%.