Kieron Pollard's late blitz and a middle-order collapse triggered by Alzarri Joseph's 6/12 ended Sunrisers Hyderabad's three-game winning streak as Mumbai Indians won by 40 runs at Hyderabad. After winning the toss, SRH elected to field and that turned out to be the right decision as they restricted MI to 136/7 but a rare failure from both openers and a middle-order collapse meant that they couldn't get over the line.
Here are the three major takeaways from MI's win over RCB.
Pollard puts the spotlight on SRH's death bowling problem
After 18 overs, MI were struggling at 97/7. With Siddarth Kaul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling the last two overs, one would have expected the visitors to struggle to get past 120. However, SRH's death bowling faltered.
And that was not even the first time in this tournament. With only Pollard at the crease, MI managed to exceed all expectations and posted 136/7. They smashed 39 runs in the last two overs, 37 of which was scored by Pollard and the other two being extras.
While poor fielding had something to do with some of it, that Pollard single-handedly managed to get MI to a respectable total is a concern for SRH.
Alzarri's dream debut
With Lasith Malinga unavailable, MI needed someone to step up in the pace department. They opted to go with Alzarri Joseph against SRH and the West Indian pacer repaid the faith shown by Rohit Sharma as he changed the complexion of the game.
By the end of his spell, Joseph became just the second player to take a five-wicket haul on IPL debut after Andrew Tye (5/17 in 2017) and also finished with the best figures in IPL history beating the previous record held by Sohail Tanvir (6/14 in 2008).
His first wicket in IPL was that of David Warner and from there, he just never looked back. After picking up two wickets at the top, he came back to finish off the tail and end with figures of 3.4-1-12-6.
SRH's middle muddle
While David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are the two leading run-getters so far in this year's IPL, there are serious problems with the SRH's batting line-up, which have been masked by the excellent performance of their two openers.
Before this game, SRH hadn't lost a single wicket inside the powerplay and while that was never going to continue for the duration of the tournament, their dismissal in quick succession highlighted a key issue with SRH's batting.
Manish Pandey and Deepak Hooda, two key members of SRH's middle-order haven't hit a six so far this season. They top the list of most balls faced in this season without hitting a six. While they haven't been tested a lot, their lack of form and ability to even hit big shots should be an area of concern for SRH.