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Pat Cummins the enforcer, and Asif Ali's costly miss

Pat Cummins the enforcer, and Asif Ali's costly miss
Pat Cummins celebrates after dismissing Imam ul-Haq © Getty Images

Despite the contributions of David Warner and Aaron Finch, who scored 189 runs between them, Australia's total of 307 was well below what they would have expected at the halfway stage. The bowler who made that total look bigger than it was was Pat Cummins, who, according to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats, was the biggest contributor to the win, ahead of Warner and Finch.

Because Smart Stats takes into account match context when evaluating runs scored or wickets taken, Cummins' three wickets were actually worth 3.97. That is largely due to the fact that he dismissed two batsmen - Fakhar Zaman and Shoaib Malik - for ducks, before they could inflict any damage on the opposition. Smart Wickets gives the actual value of a wicket, taking into account the quality of the batsman, his score at the time of dismissal, and the match situation, to represent the importance of the wicket. Dismissing a batsman early fetches more points than getting him out when he has already caused some damage.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Also, in a match where teams scored at around a run a ball, Cummins conceded just 33 off his 10 overs, which means his economy rate was much better than the match average. His Smart Economy, which is a bowler's true economy rate taking into account the economy rates of other bowlers and the pressure on the bowler when he bowled his overs, was 0.94.

Given the wickets he took and his economy rate, Cummins' contribution to the win worked out to 28.4%. This is calculated by equating all the batting and bowling performances on a common scale, and then calculating each player's contribution - with both bat and ball - to the overall tally. Finch was next with 21.8%. According to Smart Stats, his 82 was actually worth 90, taking into account the pressure and strike rates of other batsmen. His contribution percentage also includes the part he played with his left-arm spin, taking the key wicket of Mohammad Hafeez in the two overs he bowled. Warner had a higher batting impact than Finch - his 107 was worth 114 Smart Runs - but in terms of overall impact, he was third with a percentage of 20.5%.

Asif's fielding lapse

Pakistan have not been the best fielding side in this World Cup. According to ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball scoring, they have dropped as many eight catches, the most by any team so far. The costliest of those came in the loss against Australia, in the 13th over when Asif Ali at slip - not a regular at that position and standing there because of a cascading effect of Pakistan's choice of their XI for the match - dropped Finch off Wahab Riaz. Finch would've been dismissed for 26 from 45 balls.

Instead, he went on to accelerate and added 52 runs off the next 38 balls before he got out. Invaluable runs, considering how Australia's innings imploded in the last 15 overs. Pakistan had another opportunity to limit the damage when Finch edged Hafeez in the 17th over only for Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed to drop him again.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd

ESPNcricinfo's Luck Index estimates that the drop in the 13th over cost Pakistan 25 runs. Considering how Australia's innings panned out later, Luck Index reckons that the batsmen to follow Finch would have managed just 27 runs off the 39 additional balls Finch batted after the first drop. The second opportunity to dismiss Finch, in the 17th over, is estimated to have cost them 19 runs. This means that Pakistan had the opportunity to restrict the damage of the first drop to just six runs.

In addition to the drops, Pakistan also gifted seven additional runs to the opposition through misfields. In the end Australia won by a margin of 41 runs. But had Pakistan not been generous on the field, they could have been chasing 32 fewer runs than they actually did. And considering how close a contest it actually became when Wahab and Sarfaraz were batting, the result may well have been in favour of Pakistan had they been more disciplined on the field.

Topic: #p cummins
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