Punjab Kings won a thrilling encounter in the Indian Premier League, beating Rajasthan Royals by 4 runs.
Sanju Samson starred in the match as he led the target chase for the Royals all by himself. Despite scoring a fantastic century comprising seven 6s, the team just fell short of the win.
KL Rahul Continues his Fine Form
The evening in Mumbai started with Rajasthan Royals winning the toss and electing to field.
KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal opened for Punjab Kings with the latter departing after scoring just 14 runs. Rahul, on the other hand, stayed until the last over and played a captain’s innings to guide his team to a very respectable score.
Rahul scored 91 off 50 balls, hitting five 6s and seven 4s. His innings was complemented by Chris Gayle too, who scored a quick 40 runs.
Gayle got out, leaving Punjab at 89-2 in 9.5 overs. Deepak Hooda came next and proved his mettle with an impressive 64 off 28.
Thanks to these cameos, the Punjab side managed to end the innings at 221-6.
For Rajasthan Royals, a majority of the bowlers had a day to forget, going for economy rates well above 10.00. Chetan Sakariya was the most clinical bowler, recording 3-31 in his four-over spell.
South African seamer Chris Morris picked up another couple of wickets.
Samson Leads the Royals Fight but Falls Just Short
Sanju Samson mirrored the captain’s performance from Punjab Kings as he led the way to achieve the gigantic target of 222 runs.
He was the leading batsman for Rajasthan Royals and he came on only after their openers – Ben Stokes and Manan Vohra – had fallen early in the chase.
Samson came on at 25-2 in 3.2 overs and just like Rahul, stayed until the very end. He played a respectable inning and scored a wonderful century. His valiant of 119 runs from 63 deliveries is what gave them a fighting chance.
Jos Butler and Shivam Dube had brief cameos themselves, scoring 25 and 23 runs respectively. However, neither could stay for long.
Dube left the pitch, leaving the Royals at 123-4 in 12.4 overs. They were well on track and just needed a fine player to help Samson seal the win.
That is exactly what Riyan Parag attempted, blasting 25 in 11 delivering. However, he fell to Mohammad Shami, leaving Samson alone once again to fight the battle.
Samson continued the chase single-handedly, leaving it all to the final over. Requiring 5 off 2 balls, Samson tried to hit it beyond the boundary in the final delivery after a dot. However, he got caught by Hooda just before the boundary line.
Ultimately, Punjab Kings won by 4 runs.
Punjab need to work on their bowling and fielding
Sanju Samson was dropped twice over the course of the match – once in the third over and the second time in the ninth.
Even in bowling, their star signings Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson – their two big signings of the season – went for a toss, conceding over 104 runs in their total spell.
In their defence, these players are still new to the Indian conditions and it may take some time to get acclimatised to the turf and the whole IPL itself.
Their best bowlers were Mohammad Shami and Arshdeep Singh, picking five wickets between the two. They were also the most economical, staying under 9.00.
In many ways, Punjab may have gotten lucky this game but a win is a win. Until next time.