Kagiso Rabada returned superb figures of 4 for 24 in the Delhi Capitals' 59-run win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, but according to Smart Stats, Axar Patel's 2 for 18 was the most impactful performance of the game. Rabada's impact was only fifth, after Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Anrich Nortje and Prithvi Shaw. The numbers were close, though - hardly two points separated Shaw and Rabada, and less than five points separated Shaw and Nortje - indicating that all five played important roles in the victory.
Patel's 2 for 18 got top spot because Smart Stats takes into account the period when a bowler bowls, the batsmen he bowls to, and the quality of the wickets he takes. Patel bowled an over in the powerplay - the fourth - and conceded only six runs while taking the key wicket of Aaron Finch. Then, when Virat Kohli was looking to get the chase back on track, Patel bowled the crucial middle overs and gave him nothing to hit. Overall, Kohli scored only 14 off 17 against Patel; in these middle overs, he scored a mere eight off 13 against him. Patel also took the important wicket of Moeen Ali, and made things a lot easier for the bowlers who bowled later in the innings.
Nortje finished with 86.6 impact points largely because he dismissed the one batsman who was most likely to pull off the chase. Not only did Nortje dismiss AB de Villiers, he also got him early in his innings, before de Villiers could inflict any damage. According to Smart Stats, that wicket was worth 1.9 Smart Wickets - the reward for dismissing a great batsman early. In contrast, the other wicket that he took, of Mohammad Siraj, was worth only 0.13 Smart Wickets.
Rabada did dismiss Kohli, but by then Kohli had already played 39 balls without doing much damage, scoring only 43 runs. In the context of the game, those runs were only worth 38 Smart Runs. By the time Rabada took the other three wickets, the match was well and truly done.
There were two batting efforts that stood out, too. Stoinis has taken on the role of finisher with aplomb in this IPL, and his 26-ball unbeaten 53 ensured that the Capitals finished with an above-par total. His 53 was worth 69 Smart Runs, and his impact score was next only to Patel's. Then there was the important contribution of Shaw at the top of the order. He scored 42 of the 63 runs that the Capitals got in the powerplay, and was largely responsible for ensuring that his team grabbed the early momentum after being put in to bat.
Patel's was the top performance, but what should please the Capitals team management more is the fact that so many players put their hands up and contributed substantially in what was a top-class team performance.