Sunrisers Hyderabad  and Mumbai Indians served up a cracker for fans at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians served up a cracker for fans at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi Image Credit: IPL

The Abu Dhabi leg of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) ended in dramatic fashion at Zayed Cricket Stadium last Friday, as Mumbai Indians beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the highest scoring match since the tournament landed in the UAE last month.

Mumbai Indians’ stunning effort of 235-9 in their 42-run victory is the highest score of any innings this season, whether in India or the UAE, and record champions Mumbai Indians’ largest ever total in the IPL.

The combined 428 runs scored between the two sides means that Abu Dhabi has played host to the two highest scoring matches in the emirates.

The eighth game in the UAE capital backed up comments made by Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson, who lauded the work of Abu Dhabi’s ground staff and called the Zayed Cricket Stadium wicket “one of the best” in the competition.

Friday’s game brought the curtain down on two weeks of world-class cricket at Abu Dhabi Cricket, which started on September 20 with Kolkata Knight Riders’ victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Since then, cricket fans in Abu Dhabi have seen 2,475 runs scored and 91 wickets taken at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

A total of 15,200 supporters safely watched the action unfold. With capacity capped at 2,000 each game, that means the stadium was 95 per cent full across the eight matches.

To ensure the safety of all involved, there were over 50 volunteers and marshals on hand for each game 107 security officials, as well as 50 members of Abu Dhabi Police and a further 47 Abu Dhabi Cricket staff members.

There were also over 150 hours of practice sessions at the venue as Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians both made Abu Dhabi Cricket their home.

Kolkata Knight Riders wicketkeeper batsmen Dinesh Karthik was one of a number of players to hail the quality of the facilities at the venue.

“It is second to none in terms that there is a main ground, two smaller ground and another ground where there are wickets and you can have a full run up for the bowlers. I can definitely say it’s one of the best going around in the world,” he said.

“All eight IPL matches in Abu Dhabi have been incredible, and it has been fantastic to see our cricket fans back in the Zayed Cricket Stadium. We cannot wait to build on that momentum by delivering another world-class tournament, with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 soon on our doorstep at Abu Dhabi Cricket,” said Abu Dhabi Cricket CEO Matt Boucher. “We are also immensely proud of both Raees and Sailles, who have done us proud as vital members of the Kolkata Knight Riders’ set-up. It was an incredible experience for them and one that will not only have a lasting impact on their games but will also feed back into domestic cricket in the UAE.”

The hosting of the IPL continues an action-packed year at the capital’s sporting hub, where it’s game day every day. Next up is the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which gets under way in Abu Dhabi from October 18.