After 14 overs of Kolkata Knight Riderss' innings, they were well placed at 121 for 3. Chris Lynn had just pasted Ravindra Jadeja for three successive sixes in the previous over - which had gone for 23 - and had motored along to 82 off 50, and with Andre Russell still to come, Knight Riders were on course to score around 190 or even more.
Enter Imran Tahir. He had already done a double-wicket act earlier in the game, dismissing Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa in the 11th over. This time, he took out even bigger names, getting rid of both Lynn and Russell in the space of five deliveries, which eventually was instrumental in restricting Knight Riders to just 161.
Tahir finished with figures of 4-0-27-4, but his Smart Stats were even better. Given the batsmen he dismissed and the time when he dismissed them, Tahir's four wickets were worth 5.4, which makes his haul the best of IPL 2019, in terms of Smart Wickets. That is because Smart Wickets takes into account three factors when calculating the value of a dismissal:
- The quality of the batsman dismissed
- The batsman's score at the time of the dismissal
- The state of the game at the time of the dismissal
Alzarri Joseph's six-wicket haul against Sunrisers Hyderabad was only worth 4.9 and is in second place, because his last three victims were Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul, and those wickets came when the match was almost in the bag.
In Tahir's case, all four victims were top-class batsmen, and two of them - Uthappa and Russell - were dismissed very early in their innings, which gives his wickets more value (since dismissing a dangerous batsman early is always more beneficial to the fielding team).
Among these four wickets, Russell's was worth the most, at 1.65, followed by Uthappa (1.47), Lynn (1.18) and Rana (1.11). Add up those values, and Tahir's wicket value becomes the highest of IPL 2019.
Smart Stats is 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.
Click here to check out the Smart Stats numbers from IPL 2018.