Virat Kohli scored an outstanding century, but in a match of several superlative performances, he was only third in terms of Match Impact, according to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats, which evaluates player performances based not only on runs scored and wickets taken, but also on the context of those performances.
In this game, Andre Russell was clearly the standout performer. To begin with, he went for only 17 in his three overs, achieving an economy rate of 5.67 and a Smart Economy rate of 3. (Smart Economy rate takes into account the overall economy rates of other bowlers, and the pressure on the bowler when he bowled his overs.) Both those numbers were the best among all the bowlers in the match.
Then, he came in and slammed an astonishing 65 off 25, almost pulling off a win from what looked like a lost cause. Adding his batting and bowling contribution, his total Match Impact score was 134.6, easily the best among all the players in the game. Match Impact takes into account the following:
- The Smart Runs scored, plus the extra runs scored by the batsman, compared to what his team-mates would have scored off the balls he faced
- The runs saved by the bowler in the overs he bowled (calculated by taking the difference of runs he conceded versus how many the other bowlers in the team would have gone for), plus the runs saved by dismissing the batsmen they did
Kohli was judged Man of the Match, but according to the Match Impact scores, Moeen Ali was also marginally ahead of him. Moeen had a score of 116.3 to Kohli's 113.9. Moeen made 66 runs off just 28 balls, and provided the impetus to the innings which first allowed Kohli to bat within himself, and then turn it on later.
During the period when Moeen was at the crease - from the ninth over to the 16th over - Royal Challengers Bangalore's run rate lifted from 6.66 to 9.31, and it was largely due to him: he scored 66 off 28 in that partnership, while Kohli's contribution was only 22 from 15. After the game, Kohli acknowledged Moeen's huge contribution too, when he said: "Moeen took the momentum from them and landed it back in our lap. He said, 'I'm going to go now' and I just asked him to go for it. In the absence of AB, I had to bat long, but Moeen allowed me to settle in."
When Moeen departed, Royal Challengers were 149 for 3 in 16 overs, and Kohli then turned it on to ensure that the returns from the last four overs would be maximised, as he scored an incredible 45 from 16 balls in that period. That took Royal Challengers to what should have been a safe total, but Russell's stunning onslaught meant that it was just barely enough.