A brilliant bowling display followed by an incredible opening stand guided Hyderabad to a 10-wicket over Mumbai at the Sharjah Stadium.
Here are the key talking points from the contest:
Hyderabad's delight is Kolkata’s despair
With this sensational win, Hyderabad jumped from fifth to third on the points table and qualified for the playoffs only on net run rate. However, their entry into the top four meant Kolkata were relegated to fifth, ending their campaign by a margin of 0.042 difference between their and Bangalore's net run rate. Kolkata have nobody but themselves to blame as they lost five of their final eight fixtures, which resulted in them finishing with only 14 points and ending their campaign prematurely.
Eat, sleep, score 500, repeat
On a day when Hyderabad couldn’t afford any slip-ups, captain David Warner ensured that there wouldn’t be one, scoring an unbeaten 85 off 58 balls to guide Hyderabad to a 10-wicket win over the league leaders. With a boundary in the 11th over, Warner reached 57 runs, and thereby completed 500 runs for the season, doing so for the sixth season running, the first man to achieve that feat. Warner also surpassed Rohit Sharma as the third-highest runscorer in Indian T20 League history, furthering his status as perhaps the best foreign export in league history.
Saha's sensational impact
With Warner skippering the side and Williamson a key cog in the middle order, Hyderabad had no overseas slots left, as the other two were taken up by Rashid Khan and Jason Holder, both key to their bowling attack. What this meant was the team had to drop opener Jonny Bairstow and bring in Wriddhimann Saha to open the innings alongside Warner, and the veteran answered the call, by scoring 184 in three matches at an average of 92, helping Hyderabad clinch a playoff spot. Saha's return to the side as an opener proved to be a masterstroke, as the wicketkeeper-batsman repaid the team’s faith with three outstanding knocks at the top of the order.
Kieron continues his brilliant form
The only silver lining on a lacklustre evening for Mumbai was the performance of all-rounder Kieron Pollard. The big West Indian helped his side escape from a hole with a brilliant knock of 41 off 25 balls that helped Mumbai post a fighting total on the scoreboard. Pollard has now scored 259 runs this season at a strike rate of 193.28, the best he’s managed in his Indian T20 League career. The veteran all-rounder also completed 3000 runs for Mumbai, becoming only the second batsman in the franchise's history after Rohit Sharma to achieve that feat.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com / Hyderabad