Sanju Samson smashed 74 off 47 balls © IANS (File Photo)
By Nishad Pai Vaidya
May 25, 2014
In a crunch game at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014, Rajasthan Royals smashed 189 for four against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. Rajasthan’s equation is simple as they have to win to confirm a berth in the playoffs. Whereas, Mumabi have to chase this score down in 14.3 overs. Rohit Sharma had elected to bowl first considering the fact that chasing may be the easier way to go. But, Sanju Samson and Karun Nair’s assault may have put the task beyond their reach.
From overs 11 to 15, Rajasthan smashed 75 runs. Samson and Nair absolutely stunned Mumbai with some fantastic batting. There may have been moments when they played some unorthodox strokes, it was largely an exhibition of some good batting.
While Samson was batting well from the outset, Nair took control during this stage. He swept spinners with power and sent them into the stands at mid-wicket. All along, he played good cricketing strokes and also used his touch and timing. On one occasion, he merely timed one off the spinner between mid-wicket and long-on and it carpeted for four. He sped away to his half century off 26 balls. Meanwhile, Samson had read there in 36.
Samson had started off gradually as he came to open the batting with Shane Watson. While the captain struggled to get going, as he hit only eight from 18 balls before holing out to long-on, Samson was finding the boundaries and fearlessly playing his strokes. It was only after the 10th over that Nair and he took the game by the scruff of the neck. Until then, Rajasthan had scored only 59.
Mumbai needed to restrict Rajasthan and they breathed a sigh of relief when Nair was caught at mid-wicket off Jasprit Bumrah. Soon after, Samson tried to create room and hit it over the off-side, but was caught for 73.
Brad Hodge and James Faulkner found themselves getting a promotion and after a few quiet deliveries, they attacked Harbhajan in the 18th over. Faulkner smashed a couple of sixes during that over to get things going. Faulkner and Hodge did not let the Mumbai bowlers complete their overs well and managed to hit boundaries. When compared to the assault by Samson and Nair, this wasn’t as destructive, but 49 off 25 balls is good any day.
Rajasthan Royals 189 for 4 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 74, Karun Nair 50; Jasprit Bumrah 1 for 30) vs Mumbai Indians.
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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)