Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner (centre) congratulates Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir after the Eliminator at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Wednesday. Pic/AFP
The Rs 4.5 crore or so spent by the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) on a new state-of-the-art drainage system came in for a lot of praise on Wednesday, but the focus remained firmly on the crumbling pitch.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper David Warner and their bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan left no one wondering what they thought of the main playing surface after they crashed out of this year's IPL, beaten by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) via D/L method in a rain-hit Eliminator at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday night.
Admitting they were 30 runs short after being restricted to 128 for seven in their 20 overs, Warner tore into the pitch. "It was quite a tough wicket to bat on. The ball was holding up a bit. It's been quite a disappointing wicket all season," he said.
Muralitharan couldn't agree more. "The surface was up and down. The wicket was not great to play shots, we would've been bowled out for 70-80 if we tried to play shots," he stated.
On his part, Gambhir, didn't think it was such a bad pitch. "It was a much better wicket than the one we played RCB on. The ball was coming onto the bat nicely in our innings," he said.
But then that was bound to happen as some rain would have fallen on the pitch before the covers came on and allowed for the ball to come on better.
In fact, the SRH think tank, led by a very active mentor in VVS Laxman, did their best to indicate to the umpires that there was a fair bit of wetness in the outfield as well and that play shouldn't be resumed.
"Our message was to get the ground as dry as possible so that it is fair to both teams. Before the rain, the ball didn't get wet.
"We wanted the same set of conditions so that they didn't have an unfair advantage," was Murali's explanation but it didn't quite hold water with the officials.
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