Rajasthan Royals prevail in battle of sixes against Chennai Super Kings
Sanju Samson’s breathtaking knock made all the difference in the end as the Rajasthan Royals, even without some of their top players, stunned Chennai Super Kings by 16 runs at the Sharjah Stadium on Tuesday to begin their IPL XIII campaign on a winning note.
In a high-scoring game where batsmen made the most of a friendly pitch, the Royals posted a massive 216/7 after being put in to bat. In reply, the Super Kings could manage 200 for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs. The match saw 33 sixes.
Samson (74 off 32 balls) alone smashed nine of the 17 sixes in the Royals’ innings. Being severe on anything that was pitched up, particularly by Piyush Chawla and Ravindra Jadeja, he targeted mostly the straight boundaries that were short.
Along with that blazing knock, Samson also took two catches and effected as many stumpings, having a perfect day as a ’keeper-batsman. Captain Steve Smith (69 off 47 balls) too gave Samson excellent support at the other end.
The Super Kings did pull things back a bit in the middle overs, but Jofra Archer (27 not out off 8 balls) hammered Lungi Ngidi for four maximums in the final over of the Royals innings which yielded as many as 30 runs.
Pressure was on the Super Kings from the first over of their reply and barring Faf du Plessis (72 off 37 balls), the others could hardly wage a battle.
Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit three maximums in the last over to remain unbeaten on 29, but it was baffling why he came in so late, at No.7, when his team faced a tall task.