Mumbai, April 12
Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson struck an explosive 119 but his innings went in vain as Punjab Kings managed to overpower his team by four runs to win the fourth match of IPL-14 here tonight. Samson, captaining the team for the first time, was dropped twice by the time he reached his 100, but he rode his luck to reach the first hundred of this edition of the tournament, though it was not enough to win the match for his team.
With the team needing 13 off the final over, bowled by Punjab medium-pacer Arshdeep Singh, Samson struck the fourth ball for a six to bring the equation down to five runs off two balls. Arshdeep then bowled a dot ball, and Samson, going for glory on the final ball, could not clear long-off with his lofted shot and was caught by Deepak Hooda. Samson’s 119 came off 63 balls and included 12 fours and seven sixers.
Rajasthan Royals, set a massive target of 222 to win, had a shocker of a start as their English superstar Ben Stokes fell without scoring off the third ball of the innings, caught and bowled by Mohammed Shami. At 70/3, RR were in trouble. Samson, however, dug in, adding important runs with Shivam Dube (23 off 15) and Riyan Parag (25 off 11).
KL Rahul and Hooda had pummelled the Rajasthan Royals bowlers into submission with their sensational strokeplay, propelling Punjab Kings to an imposing 221/6. While Rahul smashed seven fours and five sixes in his 50-ball 91, Hooda, playing his first game since the last IPL, plundered six maximums and four boundaries as he blazed his way to 64 off just 28 balls. — TNS, agencies
Brief scores: Punjab: 221/6 in 20 overs (Rahul 91, Hooda 64; Sakariya 3/31); Rajasthan: 217/7 in 20 overs (Samson 119; Arshdeep 3/35, Shami 2/33).