Punjab Kings (PBKS) locked with the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 4th match of the IPL 2021 and PBKS batsman Deepak Hooda managed to churn out a 20-ball half-century. After winning the toss, the new RR captain, Sanju Samson choose to bowl on a typical Wankhede pitch. Mayank Agarwal fell early for 14 runs giving Chetan Sakariya his first IPL wicket and an amazing send-off as well. Then Chris Gayle and KL Rahul then joined hands and added 67 runs in the next 7 overs.
Gayle was looking set for a big one and RR fielding was making sure he continues to hit big shots, giving him a life as well. Rahul, on the other end, was looking as elegant as ever, holding one end up, but he kept on scoring at a brisk pace. Gayle fell to a smart ball by Riyan Parag for 40 off 28 balls, in which he completed 350 sixes in his IPL career, the first man to do so in the history of the league. While RR had thought that the worse was over, in walked Deepak Hooda, who had the best time in the middle.
Along with Rahul, Hooda played a flashy knock as they added as many as 113 runs for the third wicket before the latter getting out in the 18th over, then Nichol Pooran came when they were standing comfortably at 194/3. The stage was ideal for the dynamic Caribbean batsman to go all guns blazing, but he was dismissed on a golden duck. PBKS amassed as many as 221 for 6 wickets as KL Rahulgot out in the final over at 91.
In a game where all the frontline bowlers were conceding runs at an economy rate of over 10, Chetan Sakariya returned with figures of 3/31 from his four overs. During the chase, RR lost Ben Stokes for a three-ball duck, however, Sanju Samson walked in with different ideas. Manan Vohra got a reprieve when Murugan Ashwin juggled a chance in the deep off Jhye Richardson, but he was eventually was dismissed by Arshdeep Singh, who took a sensational reflex catch.
RR was then dependent on Buttler and Samson’s partnership as they added 45 runs before Jhye Richardson dismissed Buttler. In the meantime, Samson kept on tonking the bowler as he completed a half-century from 33 balls then he added 53 runs with Shivam Dube for eth 4th wicket but the latter was dismissed by Arshdeep Singh.
Samson thwacked the pedal hard after Dube’s exit, as along with Riyan Parag, she added 52 off just 23 for the fifth wicket and the equations came down to them needing 40 in the last three overs then Shami dismissed Rahul Tewatia, as Kl Rahul took the catch. The Royals needed 13 needed off the last over, which distilled down to 5 needed off the last ball. A heartbreak awaited Samson, who refused a single on the penultimate ball, as Deepak Hooda snaffled him to seal a 4-run win for Punjab.
Punjab Kings – 221/6 in 20 overs (KL Rahul: 91, D Hooda: 64; C Sakariya: 3/31) defeated Rajasthan Royals – 217/7 in 20 overs (S Samson: 119; A Singh: 3/35, M Shami: 2/33) by 4 runs
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Name change luck change. Well done @PunjabKingsIPL for winning this thriller.
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) April 12, 2021
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) April 12, 2021
Boy oh boy!!! I just love ❤️ this @IPL
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) April 12, 2021
A keeper backed himself to finish the game but couldn't do it.
Not for the first time, not for the last time either!
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) April 12, 2021
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) April 12, 2021
Greater possibility of Samson hitting a six in that form than new batsman in Morris hitting a four. Right call by Samson to keep strike last ball I thought.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 12, 2021
Naam hi nahi Badla, Shayad kismat bhi badli. Good win for Punjab Kings. Sanju Samson was absolutely brilliant to hit his 3rd IPL century, but Deepak Hooda was top class. His innings was the difference. #RRvPBKS pic.twitter.com/O3cYTKCFvq
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 12, 2021
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) April 12, 2021
And only a couple of metres separated Samson’s great innings from an all-time great innings. That’s how cruel sports can be
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) April 12, 2021
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) April 12, 2021
Centuries for Sanju Samson in IPL:
v RPS, Pune, 2017
v SRH, Hyderabad, 2019
v PBKS, Mumbai, 2021*
— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) April 12, 2021
— Ridhima Pathak (@PathakRidhima) April 12, 2021