Samson outguns RCB's batting might

16Apr 2018
The Guardian
Samson outguns RCB's batting might

SANJU Samson's breathtaking 92 not out off 45 balls formed the centerpiece of Rajasthan Royals' 217 for 4, a score that proved 19 too many for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Rajasthan Royals players celebrates after the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in Bengaluru, yesterday. AGENCIES

This despite a 26-ball fifty from Virat Kohli - his fastest in the IPL. Notably, this was also the first instance of a team defending a total in 11 full games in the league. Royals were also the first and only team to have won despite losing the toss this season.

On a familiar hit-through-the line Chinnaswamy pitch, they pillaged 88 runs off the last five overs of their innings - the joint second-highest in the IPL - of which Samson hit 58. Kohli then matched Samson's timing in the chase but a rapidly rising asking rate was too much to overcome. Kohli, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, and AB de Villiers all holed out in the deep.

There were questions over Ajinkya Rahane's role as an opener in the Royals side, and he answered them in emphatic fashion, hammering 36 off 20 balls at 180 - his second-best strike-rate in the Powerplay in the IPL. 

He had hit 41 off 22 balls for Rising Pune Supergiant against Mumbai Indians in 2017. That the ball came onto the bat nicely at the Chinnaswamy Stadium made life easier for Rahane. He regularly manufactured swinging room outside leg and swatted the ball over the leg side.

All told, he scored 33 of his 36 runs on the leg side with the pick of the shots being a whack over square leg off a slower cutter from Chris Woakes.

After Royals sprinted to 52 for the loss of Rahane in the Powerplay, Yuzvendra Chahal set them back by danging legbreaks wide of off. 

The legspinner got one to drift away from D'Arcy Short and found the toe end in his second over and seventh of the match. He then forced Ben Stokes to drag a wide delivery onto the stumps and became the leading wicket-taker for RCB with 73 wickets. Chahal finished with 2 for 22 in his four overs, including 12 dots, on an afternoon where four of his team-mates conceded over 11 runs an over. AGENCIES