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IPL 2021: 'Don't think I could have done more,' Samson's 119 goes in vain as Punjab beat Rajasthan
Sanju Samson's 119 went in vain as Rajasthan Royals (RR) lost to Punjab Kings (PBKS) by four runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Monday. ...
Sanju Samson's 119 went in vain as Rajasthan Royals (RR) lost to Punjab Kings (PBKS) by four runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Monday.
RR skipper Samson got out on the final ball of the innings during RR's chase of 222 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. RR needed 13 off the last over, which was bowled by Punjab's young 22-year-old pacer Arshdeep Singh. With Samson on strike, RR needed five runs off the final delivery of the game. The RR captain lofted it to wide long-off but only to get caught by Deepak Hooda.
Sanju Samson's reaction
"I don't have words to tell, very close game, came close but unfortunately. I don't think I could have done anything more, timed it well, but unfortunately couldn't clear the man in the deep. It's all part of the game (when asked about the bowlers going for plenty from both sides), we thought the wicket was getting better and we could chase the target down. Despite the loss, I think the team played really well," Samson said in the post-match interview after his side's loss in their opening game.
After being asked to bat, Punjab lost Mayank Agarwal in the third over. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle brought back PBKS' rhythm with their 67-run stand for the second wicket. Middle-order batsman Hooda turned tables around with his 28-ball 64. He struck six sixes and four fours in his knock that put Punjab ahead in the game.
Meanwhile, Rahul also stuck around for a long time as he scored 91 off 50 balls. As Rahul registered his 22nd IPL fifty, he also claimed another record. He became only the second batsman to score 2,000 or more runs for Punjab after Australia's Shaun Marsh.
In the second innings on Monday, Samson scored at a strike rate of close to 200 and hammered 12 fours and seven sixes in his knock of 119 off 63 balls. He was named the Player of the Match for doing the majority of the scoring for RR. The next best batsmen for Rajasthan against Punjab were Jos Buttler and Riyan Parag, who scored 25 runs each.
In the same interview, Samson said that he enjoyed playing his shots but also respected the bowlers wherever it was required.
"I think the second part of the innings was the best I ever played, took my time and respected the bowlers, whereas in the first part I was not timing it very well. I took the singles and got into a rhythm and then I started to play my shots in the second half.
I enjoy my shots but I come back to the present after I play those shots. It automatically happens, when I focus on my skills and watch the ball and react. Sometimes I lose my wicket also, so I just play the same way. It's about trusting my processes to be honest, and I did that, and it came off tonight. The coin looked really nice so I pocketed it, asked the referee if I can have it, but he said no," added Samson.
KL Rahul's reaction
Meanwhile, the winning skipper KL Rahul praised his boys and made special mentions of Arshdeep, Hooda and Gayle.
"I didn't stop believing in the team, and we knew a couple of wickets will bring us back. The game went deep only because me included, we dropped some sitters. We bowled well until about 11-12 overs. We're used to this, and it's not something new for us, but a win like this brings the team together. We batted really well and bowled well in patches. We weren't consistent with the lengths but the bowlers will learn.
A lot of talented, skillful players, and it's important that we back them. It was an amazing innings from Hooda, and that's the kind of fearless batting we want to see in the IPL. We have been tentative sometimes, and it's important for us to play fearlessly at times, so I am happy that the expectations are being understood and met. Gayle and Hooda were both good that way. I always go to Arshdeep for crucial overs and he enjoys the pressure. He loves being in the contest and I love throwing him the ball, and he trusts himself and trusts his skills, so that's always good to see," added Rahul after Punjab's close win over RR.
Samson's RR have a two-day break before their next fixture in the IPL 2021, which is against Delhi Capitals (DC) on Thursday (April 15) in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Punjab have a big game coming up next as they face off against three-time winners Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday.