It appears that Kolkata Knight Riders don't really have a set batting position for Andre Russell. It's more to do with how many balls are remaining when a wicket falls. This season it's (roughly) 42. And if you take out their matches against Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals, where their batting collapsed, it comes down to 38.

That is precious little time for your biggest match winner to have a say. On Sunday, KKR had a chance to send Russell out in the ninth over, when Dinesh Karthik fell. But they held him back and forced him into a situation where he only had a maximum of 27 legal balls to do his thing.

KKR had 124 on the board in the 16th over - after being 42 in 2.4 - and Russell only had the tail for company. He had to deny singles. He had to hit everything out of the park. And even he succumbed to that kind of pressure. Bhuvneshwar Kumar knocked him out for 15 off 9.

Trump card v Monster hitter

Nine overs of the match were done by the time Rashid Khan had his first over and he was taken off immediately. The reason was simple. Sunrisers Hyderabad were saving him for Russell. This head-to-head in IPL reads seven balls, seven runs and one wicket. And while that isn't enough of a sample size, the West Indian has a strike rate of 140 against all legspinners since IPL 2015. He hits every other kind of bowling at 180 and more.

It was advantage Sunrisers, even before KKR helped them out by bungling their batting order.

Sunrisers boss the Powerplay

David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are beautiful hitters of the new white ball - in any level of cricket - and with them as openers Sunrisers have recorded all three of this season's best Powerplay totals.

Winning this game hinged on their partnership because the pitch in Hyderabad was a pretty slow one and once the ball lost its shine, and the fielding restrictions were relaxed, forcing the pace was difficult. Knowing all of that, Warner and Bairstow carved out 72 runs - nearly 50% of their target - in the Powerplay itself. It was pristine planning and even better execution.

The big call

Kuldeep Yadav was left out of a KKR XI for the first time in over 30 IPL matches. The left-arm wristspinner has been an intrinsic part of the franchise, except this season both of his strengths have been, well, not so strong.

Although he turns the ball both ways, he's only beaten the bat three times; three times this entire season. And, at least in the last game, we saw a crack in that unflappable temperament.

Good captains back their wicket-taking bowlers even when they're out of form but seeing them on their knees changes the story.

Kuldeep - with four wickets in 33 overs and an economy rate of 8.66 - needed a break. He needed to refresh, not only for the sake of KKR but also for India when they play the World Cup next month.

The pinch hitter

Sunil Narine does not pretend to be a proper batsman. His only job is to get his team ahead of the game and, to that effect, all he does is clear his front leg and whack. While a technique like that can and has been exploited, his hand-eye coordination makes sure KKR still get plenty of runs before that happens.

Case in point: While Narine was at the crease - and it was only 16 balls - KKR ransacked 42 runs. Over the remaining 20, they went at less than a run a ball and still got to the end of the Powerplay with a score of 61.

With input from Bharath Seervi and Srinath Sripath

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo