Kerala youngster Sanju Samson’s maiden T20 century helped Delhi Daredevils (DD) post a mammoth 205/4 against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in an Indian Premier League 2017 match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Tuesday.
The 22-year-old right-hander, who became the second youngest to strike a century in the IPL, took the Pune bowlers to the cleaners from the word go, before converting his first T20 half-century to what could be a match-winning hundred.
Samson, who got to his century with a straight six off Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa, clobbered five sixes and eight fours in his 63-ball 103.
South African all-rounder Chris Morris then added the late order fireworks in the final two overs, with a 9-ball unbeaten 38, that included three sixes and four boundaries, to raise Delhi’s 200.
Put in to bat, Daredevils were once again off to a poor start losing opener Aditya Tare for nought but Sam Billings (24) and Sanju Samson resurrected the innings with a 69-run second wicket stand.
Samson signalled his arrival with two consecutive fours of Deepak Chahar, who induced Tare off his first ball to get a thick edge to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
In the next over, Samson destroyed medium pacer Ashoke Dinda’s line and length by hitting two consecutive fours before Billings joined him to milk 16 runs from the third over.
The Englishman then struck Chahar for three back to back boundaries as the over yielded 15 runs, helping Delhi cross the 50-run mark by the end of the sixth over.
Pune’s seven over wait to get their second breakthrough, was once again provided by the South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who struck on the first ball of his second over with the wicket of Billings.
Billings, who had hit four boundaries facing 17 balls by now, failed to read a slider from Tahir, which was enough for the ball to crash the tip of the off-stump.
Billings’ wicket brought the hero of the last match Rishabh Pant (31), who started well by dispatching Rajat Bhatia for two sixes in the 12th over as Delhi reached the three-figure mark.
Samson at the other end, completed his maiden T20 fifty off 41 deliveries with a deaf touch to long-on for a single off Englishman Ben Stokes.
With the stage set for Delhi to launch the assault, Pant’s resistance was cut short by a brilliant direct hit by Mayank Agarwal from point. The Delhi batsman’s 22-ball effort with two sixes and a four, helped him add 53 for the third wicket with Samson.
Thereafter, it was an one man show from the Kerala youngster, who reached his maiden century before being dismissed one ball later by Zampa.
Pune leaked 45 runs in the final two overs as Morris went on with his natural game from the very first ball. He slammed Zampa for two fours and a six in the 19th over before clobbering Stokes for two more boundaries and as many maximums in the final over to take Delhi to the massive total.
Brief Scores: Delhi Daredevils 205/4 (Sanju Samson 103, Chris Morris 38 not out, Rishabh Pant 31, Imran Tahir 1/24) vs Rising Pune Supergiant.