Sanju Samson IPL 2021 captaincy debut with a blistering century against Punjab Kings in Mumbai, a scarcely-believable 63-ball 119. Nevertheless, his superlative efforts couldn’t take his team past the finishing line , as he was dismissed on the ultimate delivery of the match, handy Punjab a four-run win. Royals’ team director Kumar Sangakkara praised his captain’s confidence and unflappable temperament despite the agonising miss during a nerve-wracking, high-scoring match that produced 438 runs from 40 overs.
What made Sanju Samson’s knock special?
Considering the dire circumstances under which this knock was orchestrated, it surely was one for the ages. In pursuit of a 222-run target, Royals were off to a disastrous start, losing Ben Stokes, Manan Vohra and Jos Buttler inside the primary 8 overs. Despite the flurry of wickets, Sanju didn’t lose his composure and backed himself to seal the sport if he stayed till the top . At the halfway stage, Royals were 95/3, with the asking rate well in more than 12 runs per over. However, he kept unfurling those big hits consistently.
Royals surged between 12.5 overs to 16.2 overs — a manic 21 deliveries during which Samson and Riyan Parag plundered 52 runs. Parag’s brute force interspersed with Sanju’s languid grace made it a sublime jugalbandi. Parag’s exit didn’t fluster the Royals captain. He mentioned his ton in only 54 deliveries, carving out a four, six and a four off consecutive deliveries from Australian pacer Jhye Richardson. Sanju continued with the blitzkrieg, which brought the equation right down to 13 runs from the ultimate over. However, Punjab’s left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh held his nerve to require his team through. the very fact that after Sanju’s 119, subsequent best score for Parag’s 25, only underlined the 26-year-old’s sheer dominance at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday night.