Both Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) arrived into the match looking for their first win. Restricting SRH for 142 on board after losing the toss has given KKR a low target to chase.
However, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s overly cautious approach might come back to haunt them as bowling with the dew won’t be easy for the bowlers on a true Dubai pitch.
Let us look at the three talking points from the first innings of the match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Pat Cummins’ length and KKR’s disciplined bowling
This year’s most expensive buy Pat Cummins did not have the best of the spells against Mumbai Indians (MI) as he conceded 49 runs from his 3 overs but started off much better when compared in this match.
There was a stark difference in the lengths. He was far too short against the MI, whereas he has pitched it much fuller and in the corridor against SRH. Cummins gave away just 4 runs in his first two overs in Powerplay and also cleaned up dangerman Bairstow, finishing off with the figures of 19 for 1 in 4 overs.
Outstanding bowling performance by spinners Varun Chakravarthy (25 for 1 in 4 overs) and Sunil Narine (31-0 in 4 over) kept the lid down on the scoring before Andre Russell rounded off the team's performance with couple of lethal overs.
SRH batsmen dug themselves into hole
It is difficult to judge a pitch when only one side has batted but SRH didn’t put the foot on the gas despite having wickets in hand. The pitch didn’t seem to possess demons to have a run rate less than 7 an over with more than 6 wickets in hand. Wriddiman Saha’s innings in particular of 30 in 31 balls looked in mild terms a little bit scratchy. Mohammad Nabi did try to score rapidly in the final over but hitting it from the first ball hasn't been easy on these pitches.
SRH are 20 runs short
The Knight Riders batsmen will need to ensure they don’t repeat the mistakes and loosen the stranglehold on the match. It would be interesting to see how the likes of Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell approach the target. A total of 142 feels sub-par on this track. KKR will be the more confident of the two sides. On the other hand, SRH maybe few runs short but their bowling attack has defended lower scores than this so en exciting second-half is in the offing.