Sharjah, Sep 22: Sanju Samson’s effortless six-hitting exhibition along with Jofra Archer’s magnificent all-round show formed the cornerstone of Rajasthan Royals’ comfortable 16-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match here on Tuesday.
Rated as the weakest among eight teams, Royals without a Ben Stokes or a Jos Buttler in their playing XI did most things right under skipper Steve Smith.
On a placid Sharjah track, Royals amassed 216 for 7 largely due to Samson’s 74 off 32 balls that had nine maximums apart from a solitary boundary.
He found an able ally in skipper Steve Smith, who opened in T20 cricket for the first time in his career and scored 69 off 47 balls without much fuss while making a comeback to competitive cricket after a concussion break.
But it was Archer’s four sixes off Lungi Ngidi in the final over that tilted the scales decisively with 30 runs coming off it.
Even going by the easy nature of the track, scoreboard pressure was always there and CSK still managed 200 for 6 with Archer (1/26 off 4 overs) swinging it in favour of Royals with a decisive 19th over.
Rahul Tewatia (3/37 in 4 overs) also need to be credited for his wickets at the top of the order.
It was always a catch-up game for CSK and one imagined that their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would at least try and come up the order but he came at No 7 when the match was as good as over.
Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Mumbai Indians (Abu Dhabi) 7:30 PM
Rajasthan Royals Innings:
Yashasvi Jaiswal c & b Chahar 6
Steve Smith c Jadhav b Curran 69
Sanju Samson c Chahar b Ngidi 74
David Miller run out (Gaikwad/Jadhav) 0
Robin Uthappa c du Plessis b Chawla 5
Rahul Tewatia lbw b Curran 10
Riyan Parag c Dhoni b Curran 6
Tom Curran not out 10
Jofra Archer not out 27
Extras: (B-1, NB-3, W-5) 9
Total: (for 7 wickets in 20 overs) 216
Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-132, 3-134, 4-149, 5-167, 6-173, 7-178
Bowling: Deepak Chahar 4-0-31-1, Sam Curran 4-0-33-3, Lungi Ngidi 4-0-56-1, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-40-0, Piyush Chawla 4-0-55-1.
Chennai Super Kings Innings:
Murali Vijay c Curran b Gopal 21
Shane Watson b Tewatia 33
Faf du Plessis c Samson b Archer 72
Sam Curran st Samson b Tewatia 17
Ruturaj Gaikwad st Samson b Tewatia 0
Kedar Jadhav c Samson b Curran 22
Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 29
Ravindra Jadeja not out 1
Extras: (LB-1, NB-1, W-3) 5
Total: (for 6 wickets in 20 overs) 200
Fall of wickets: 1-56, 2-58, 3-77, 4-77, 5-114, 6-179
Bowling: Jaydev Unadkat 4-0-44-0, Jofra Archer 4-0-26-1, Shreyas Gopal 4-0-38-1, Tom Curran 4-0-54-1, Rahul Tewatia 4-0-37-3.
The night belonged to Samson, a man rated for his talent but criticised for his lack of consistency. He always has one or two incredible IPL days every year. Tuesday was one such day when he was at his brilliant best.
Piyush Chawla after a dream start to his IPL career was hit for three sixes in one over by Samson, all clean hits that landed several rows behind. His skipper also joined the six hitting competition hitting four himself adding 121 for the second wicket in just 9.2 overs.
What stood out was the minimum effort he used in lofting the straight sixes as the bat looked like a mere extension of his hands.
Chawla (1/55) and Ravindra Jadeja (0/40 in 4 overs) were targeted keeping short boundaries in mind and 95 runs came off those 8 overs from slow bowlers.
Just when it looked that a century was there for taking, Samson was holed out at deep extra cover trying to hit Ngidi for a six. (PTI)