Smart Stats: Pant 286.1 trumps Rahane 183.5

Rishabh Pant goes for the one-handed scoop BCCI

Individual hundreds don't necessarily win you the matches in T20s. They must come fast. The average balls taken by batsmen to score a hundred in the first innings in the IPL is 54. Out of the 19 hundreds that have come in 54 or more balls, only ten have come in winning causes. However, out of the 23 that have come in 53 or fewer balls, as many as 20 have been in winning causes.

Ajinkya Rahane's hundred came off 58 deliveries and as the stat above seemed to predict, he did end up on the losing side. ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats corroborates the stats and chips in with its own assessment of who scored the more valuable runs in the match. Rishabh Pant, the top scorer from the winnings side, ended with 78 runs in the match, 27 short of what Rahane got, but his runs came at a Smart Strike-rate of 286. In contrast, Rahane's Smart Strike-rate in the match was much lower at 183.5.

Smart Stats evaluates the scoring rate of batsmen at every ball in their innings and awards or penalises them accordingly depending on match conditions captured through scoring rates. Rahane was superb in the middle part of his innings - he scored 85 off 43 balls at a strike-rate of 197. His Smart Strike rate was 247 in this part of his innings. Those 85 runs were worth 21 runs more. However, he started and ended his innings at a much lower gear. In the first ten balls he faced in his innings, he scored just nine runs. Similarly, off his last ten balls, Rahane managed just nine runs. His Smart Strike-rate in his last ten balls was just 60. Smart Stats algorithm penalises batsmen for slowing down during death overs when on evidence, a higher strike-rate is possible to achieve.

Pant on the other hand made use of the start he got and did not slow down at any stage in his innings. That is the reason why his 78 runs were worth 103 Smart Runs, while Rahane's 63-ball 105 was worth 115 Smart Runs. In other words, Pant's 36-ball effort was worth 25 more runs in the context of the game, while Rahane's 63 balls earned him, and his team, just ten additional runs.