Samson Scores Blistering Century in Last-Ball Royals Loss

Samson Scores Blistering Century in Last-Ball Royals Loss Photo: TT
Sanju Samson plays a shot during the Vivo Indian Premier League IPL T20 cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians at Sawai Mansingh Stadium

Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson scored the 13th highest century in Indian Premier League history but it wasn’t enough as the Punjab Kings won by four runs on Monday night.

Samson posted a stunning 119 from 63 balls, including 12 fours and seven sixes in the Rajasthan Royals’ chase of the Punjab Kings’ first innings score of 6-221.

Facing the final ball from Arshdeep Singh and needing a four to tie the match or six to win it, Samson was caught by Deepak Hooda at deep cover.

Winning captain K.L. Rahul, who scored 91 from 50 deliveries, admitted the match had almost slipped away from his side after having the Royals 3-70 in the eighth over.

“Heart rate was high but I didn’t stop believing,” Rahul said. “We knew a couple of wickets would bring us back.

“Until the first 10-11 overs we bowled well. It was close because we dropped a few sitters, including me. As a bowling unit, we bowled as we planned. When you’re bowling against Sanju, it’s difficult.”

The man of the moment Samson said it was one of his best-ever innings, particularly the second half as his run rate rose rapidly.

“The second part of my innings was my best IPL performance,” he said. “But I went back to the basics, communicated with my partners, accepted they were bowling well, rotated strike early and got into my rhythm.

“I really enjoy my shots, but I come to the present after playing them. When I am in the zone, and watching the ball well, the sixes come out naturally.”

Chris Gayle’s 175no for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013 remains the best-ever IPL score, while Rahul’s 132no was the best in 2020.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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