When a team needs seven runs off one over in a T20I with four wickets in hand, you'd almost expect the batting team to win. And when England is the team batting, you'd make an even stronger case for that as the 2016 World T20 finalists have a strong lower order.
During the first T20I between South Africa and England at Buffalo Park in East London, the latter found themselves in the exact situation mentioned above. Surely, there was only one result possible from there with Moeen Ali and Tom Curran, both handy batsmen, in the middle. Yet, it was far from a one-sided contest as far as Criclytics was concerned. Our algorithm gave South Africa as much as a 42% chance of winning the match before the first delivery of the final over was bowled.
It was Lungi Ngidi with the ball and Curran managed to get two runs off the first ball of the over. When you looked at the scorecard and saw five runs needed from as many balls, you would have thought match over, but Criclytics still gave the Proteas a 37% chance of a victory.
The next delivery saw Curran caught on the boundary by David Miller. Still, five runs off four deliveries with three wickets in hand with Moeen and Chris Jordan at the crease, you'd think it was the away team's game. But Criclytics had recognised this wicket as the turning point and South Africa's win percentage was suddenly at 57, a number which many people wouldn't have backed at the time.
A dot ball followed and the Proteas' win percentage was now 63 with England needing five runs from three balls. Off the next delivery, Moeen managed to score two and, at this point, the hosts' win percentage dropped ever-so-slightly to 59 - this, despite England needing just three runs from two balls.
Then came the decisive delivery of the match as Moeen was outfoxed by a brilliant slower ball from Ngidi and saw his stumps disturbed. South Africa's win percentage on Criclytics jumped to 86 and they sealed the match off the final ball with Adil Rashid able to score just one run.
Here's a summary of how Criclytics' win projection changed ball-by-ball during the final over.
Just an over earlier, Eoin Morgan's brilliance had put England in pole position to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
After two deliveries of the penultimate over, the match was pretty even with England's win percentage at 50 and South Africa's at 49. Then, the England skipper hit 14 runs off three balls (4, 4, 6) against Beuran Hendricks and the visitors' win percentage had gone up to as much as 75 with just seven deliveries left in the match.
Hendricks though had the last laugh and got the crucial wicket of Morgan off the final delivery of the over, which resulted in England's win percentage dropping to 57.