At first glance, Odean Smith’s Man of the Match award seems unjustified given that he contributed only 25 runs and was surpassed by three of his Punjab team mates — Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Mayank Agarwal.
What was truly unique about Smith’s innings was the fact that he faced a mere 8 balls and in the process registered a strike rate of a whopping 312.50, confirmed by Wisden Cricket as one of the Top 20 strike rates in IPL history.
Smith’s 25 featured three sixes and one four — the last of which sealed the final result in Punjab’s favour in the penultimate over of the match.
While the Jamaican’s heroics will earn him plaudits from the Punjab fanbase, the post-game discussion amongst both the studio and armchair pundits was the dropped catch when he was 10* — a moment RCB Captain Faf du Plessis acknowledged as the error that changed the course of the game.
It was in the 16th over that Smith went after Harshal Patel with a hopeful flighted shot to deep extra cover. The fielder in the outfield was Anuj Rawat — fresh off a spectacular full length dive that had resulted in Liam Livingstone’s dismissal a couple of overs earlier.
In this instance with Smith, under much easier circumstances, Rawat ended up dropping the catch.
Had Rawat taken the catch and dismissed Smith, there is every possibility that RCB could have defended its total in the final overs of the game.
- IPL 2022
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