Highest Impact Player of the match: Ben Stokes (9.35)
Highest Impact Batsman: Alastair Cook (8.74)
Highest Impact Bowler: Trent Boult (4.42)
Highest Impact Player (New Zealand): Trent Boult (4.71)
Highest Pressure Impact: Joe Root (3.74)
Highest Strike Rate Impact: Ben Stokes (0.49)
Highest Pressure-Building Impact: Trent Boult (0.1)
Ben Stokes produced the highest impact performance of his ten-match Test career to emerge as the No. 1 impact player in the first Test between England and New Zealand at Lord’s, which ended on Monday (May 25).
Stokes came in to bat at 30 for 4 in the first innings and put together a magnificent 161-run stand for the fifth wicket with Joe Root. Stokes attacked from one end while Root held firm at the other. Stokes was finally dismissed for a brilliant 92 off just 94 deliveries.
Stokes then smashed the fastest Test ton at Lord’s (off just 85 balls) to propel England to 478 in the second innings. His game-changing innings not only set New Zealand a stiff target but also gave time for the England bowlers to bowl the opposition out. Interestingly, his second innings had a much higher impact than his first as the pressure (of falling wickets) he faced in the second (owing to the first-innings deficit) was higher than the pressure he faced in the first innings – from that situation he changed the match with a blistering hundred which finally tilted the Test in England’s favour.
Not surprisingly, Stokes had the highest Strike Rate Impact (seldom registered in Test cricket) in the match, an indicator that the batsman has scored at a rate much higher than the match norm. Stokes also picked up three wickets in New Zealand’s second innings, which included the scalps of Kane Williamson and Brendon McCullum in the same over.
Alastair Cook was the highest impact batsman of the match. After registering just 16 in the first innings, he scored a typical dogged 162 in the second (under pressure of the first-innings deficit), keeping an end intact, allowing the middle order to play aggressively from the other.
Joe Root was the second-highest impact batsman of the match. Coming in to bat at 25 for 3 in the first innings (under pressure of falling wickets), he scored a defiant 98. Again, in the second innings, he came out to bat at 74 for 3 (under pressure of falling wickets and first-innings deficit) and scored a match-changing 84. He displayed the maximum ability to absorb pressure (of falling wickets) in the match.
Trent Boult was the highest impact bowler of the match and the highest impact player for New Zealand. He picked up four wickets in the first innings (including two top/middle-order wickets) and five in the second (again, including two top/middle-order wickets).
Seven players from England had a Match Impact higher than 2, five of them had a Match Impact higher than 3 and three players – Root, Cook and Stokes – had a Match Impact greater than 9 – for three players of one particular team to have such a high Match Impact in a Test match is a rarity.
As many as ten players from New Zealand (all except McCullum) had a Match Impact greater than 1 (the minimum impact for a performance to not be labelled a failure), but only two of their players – Matt Henry and Boult – registered an impact greater than 4 in the match – telling us that though most of their players chipped in and contributed, barring Henry and Boult, no one produced a very high impact performance.