Hyderabad: Sanju Samson (102 n o, 55b, 10×4, 4×6) smashed the first century of the ongoing IPL and together with skipper Ajinkya Rahane (70, 49b, 4×4, 3×6) stitched a century stand to guide Rajasthan Royals (RR) to a mammoth 198/2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) here Friday.
Samson didn’t spare a single SRH bowler and remained unbeaten to notch up his second IPL ton. His first century in the T20 tournament came in 2017.
Opening the batting after winning the toss, Rahane led from the front and together with Samson shared 119 runs for the second wicket to set the base for the total after the early dismissal of Jos Buttler (five).
Introduced into the attack in the fourth over, Rashid Khan (1/24) struck with only his second ball, cleaning up dangerman Buttler around his legs.
After Buttler’s dismissal, skipper Rahane was joined at the crease by Samson and the duo played cautiously without taking any undue risk to take Rajasthan forward.
While Rahane played the anchor’s role, Samson opened up his arms soon and smashed two sixes in consecutive overs of Shabaz Nadeem (1/36) and Siddharth Kaul (0/32) to give some momentum to Rajasthan’s innings.
Both Rahane and Samson paced their innings to perfection, as after playing cautiously initially, they broke their shackles when needed and notched up the team’s 100 in 11.5 overs.
However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s (0/55) torrid time at the death overs continued. If it was Andre Russell in the last match, it was Samson Friday as the young Kerala batsman took the senior pacer to cleaners, hitting him for four boundaries and one six to pick up 24 runs from the 18th over.