Mumbai: Captain Sanju Samson’s fantastic century (119 off 63) went in vain as Punjab Kings beat Rajasthan Royals by 4 runs in the thrilling fourth match of the IPL 2021, here on Monday.
Put into bat, fantastic fifties by from KL Rahul (91), Deepak Hooda (64) and Chris Gayle’s knock of 40 powered Punjab Kings to 221 for 6 in 20 overs.
Chasing a mammoth target for victory, Rajasthan got off to the worst start when Ben Stokes was dismissed off the third ball in the first over by Mohammed Shami.
Second opener Manan Vohra, playing his first match for RR, also got out cheaply for 12, leaving Royals in trouble at 25 for two.
From there on, Samson and Jos Buttler (25) tried to revive the innings with a 45-run stand but pacer Jhye Richardson pegged Rajasthan by dismissing Buttler.
Dube got out after playing a cameo of 23. However, Samson kept playing his shots to keep his team in the game despite losing partners at the other end.
The equation got really close as Rajasthan needed 48 from the final 4 overs, a period of play where PBKS were worst in IPL 2020.
Samson hammered Richardson for two boundaries and a six in the 18th over, in which Royals got 19 runs and took his team on the cusp of a fine win. With 13 needed from the final over, Rahul handed the ball over to Arshdeep, who managed 0, 1, 1, 6, 0 and Samson’s wicket off the final ball to win the match for Punjab.
Arshdeep Singh (3/35) was the star performer with the ball for Punjab.
Earlier, Punjab were off to a bad start as they lost opener Mayank Agarwal (14) early in IPL debutant Chetan Sakariya’s over.
However, Rahul and Chris Gayle had 67-run stand for the second wicket and revived Punjab’s innings. Gayle scored 40 off 28 before getting out to Riyan Parag (1/7) in the 10th over.
Rahul then changed gears and got to his fifty with a six over Shivam Dube’s (0/20) head in the 13th over.
On the other hand, Deepak Hooda who was promoted up the order ahead of Nicholas Pooran, went on a six-hitting spree in the middle overs as hit six sixes in his innings. He got to his half-century in just 20 balls and registered his highest IPL score.
Both, Rahul and Hooda hammered the opposition bowlers on way to to their 105-run stand. Thanks to their monstrous hitting, Punjab added 111 runs in the final eight overs and posted 221/6 in 20 overs.
For RR, Sakariya was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets for 31 runs in four overs.