IPL 2021 live: Heartbreak for Samson as Punjab win thriller

Rituraj Borkakoty/Dubai
Filed on April 12, 2021
Sanju Samson plays a shot. (BCCI)

Both teams had their ups and downs last season. Both teams have a point to prove.

Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson hit a sublime century, but his efforts ended in heartbreak as the young pacer Arshdeep Singh held his nerve in a tense final over to help Punjab Kings win a thriller by four runs in their Indian Premier League (IPL) clash on Monday.

Chasing 222, Samson, coming in at number three after opener Ben Stokes fell before the team could open their account, anchored the chase brilliantly before launching his full range of shots in the final five overs.

But defending 13 in the last over, Arshdeep kept his cool as he bowled a brilliant length and eventually had Samson caught in the deep when the Royals captain needed to hit a six off the final ball to take his team home.


Sanju Samson became the first captain to hit a century on IPL debut as captain, giving his team, Rajasthan Royals, a real chance to chase down Punjab Kings 222.

The Royals need 21 runs off 12 balls with five wickets in hand.

Riyan Parag (25, 11 balls) provided the impetus to the Royals innings while Samson continued to play his magical shots.

But just when Parag threatened to launch some more attacking shots, the experienced Mohammed Shami did the job for Punjab with a bouncer that the youngster from Assam could only glove it to the wicketkeeper.

Rahul Tewatita joined Samson in the middle as Royals needed 40 off 18 balls.

Sanju half-century

Sanju Samson completed a fighting half century in what has been a really difficult chase for the Rajasthan Royals.

Samson has enjoyed his share of luck in this innings, but also produced some wonderful shots under pressure.

The Punjab bowlers have kept the pressure on the Royals batsmen with their discipline and change of pace.

At this stage of the Punjab innings, it was Deepak Hooda who stepped up and changed the game with a stunning attack on the bowlers.

The Royals needed Shivav Dube (23 off 15) to do the same job. But the left-handed all-rounder never really found his top gear in this innings.

Dube eventually perished while trying to hit Arshdeep Singh out of the park in the 13th over.

The young Riyan Parag came in at six, before hitting an exquisite cover drive off Arshdeep to get off the mark with a boundary.

The 19-year-old batsman from Assam then nonchalantly flicked Mohammed Shami for a six.

The Royals haven’t thrown in the towel yet. Score 154/4 in 15 overs chasing 222. Need 68 off 30 balls

Buttler departs

Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson tried to keep the Rajasthan Royals alive in the tough chase against Punjab Kings.

After the powerplay, the Punjab bowlers used the variations in an attempt to contain the two free-flowing batsmen.

That ploy eventually worked as Jhye Richardson deceived the dangerous Buttler (25, 13 balls, 5 fours) with a beautifully disguised slower-ball, rattling the stumps of the English batsman.

It was a huge blow for the Royals as the left-handed Shivam Dube joined captain Samson in the middle.

Samson has played some delightful shots, but it’s going to be a massive challenge to chase this target of 222. Score 95/3 after 10 overs.

Early blows

Chasing a huge target of 222, Ben Stokes and Manan Vohra came out to start the Rajasthan Royals innings against Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League clash on Monday.

But Mohammed Shami, making a comeback after the injury setback in Australia, struck in the first over, with Stokes (0) top-edging a pull shot as the ball landed in the hands of the bowler despite a mix-up with Punjab captain and wicketkeeper, KL Rahul.

Sanju Samson, the Royals captain, came in at three after the early blow.

Vohra, coming off a fantastic domestic season, then flicked majestically for a six over the mid-wicket boundary against Jhye Richardson, the Australian fast bowler and one of the most expensive players at the last auction.

In the next over, Samson played a delicious cover drive and then pulled Shami two balls later in the same over for another four.

But Arshdeep Singh struck in the fourth over, sending Vohra (12 off 8) back with a sharp caught and bowled.

Jos Buttler joined captain Samson after the Royals lost their second wicket inside four overs.

And the England star got off to a flying start, hitting four fours off Riley Meredith in the fifth over of the innings. Score: 48/2 after five overs

Brutal Hooda

Deepak Hooda was sent in ahead of the explosive West Indian Nicholas Pooran after the fall of the most explosive T20 player the cricket has ever seen – Chris Gayle.

And the Punjab Kings batsman rose to the challenge in style, launching a stunning attack on the Rajasthan Royals bowlers to help his team post 221/6 in the Indian Premier League encounter at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

On what was a good wicket to bat, Hooda (64, 28 balls, 4 fours, 6 sixes) toyed with the bowlers after the Royals captain Sanju Samson won the toss and put Kings in.

If Hooda, the 25-year-old Rohtak-born all-rounder, was brutally brilliant, Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul (91, 50 balls, 7 fours, 5 sixes) exhibited his sublime range of strokes as the Royals bowlers, including Chris Morris, the most expensive player in history, failed to contain the flow of runs.

Hooda’s 105-run partnership for the third wicket with Rahul came off just 44 balls.

Debutant Chetan Sakariya (3/31 in four overs) was the only Royals bowler to have some success, using the slower ball brilliantly in the death overs.

Hooda unstoppable

Riyan Parag may have dismissed the dangerous Chris Gayle, but KL Rahul (54 not out) has continued to dominate with his sumptuous stroke-play.

The Punjab captain completed what was a brilliant half-century. The highest scorer of the last season has looked in complete control today at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The aggressive Deepak Hooda (39 not out, 15 balls, 5 sixes, 1 four) joined Rahul after the fall of Gayle and launched a brutal attack on the Royals bowlers.

The West Indians’ dismissal seem to have failed to the Royals back in this fight. Score: 150/2 after 14 overs

Parag removes Gayle

The part-time leg spin of Riyan Parag did the trick for Rajasthan Royals as the youngster deceived Chris Gayle in the air and the West Indian fell at the long on boundary with Ben Stokes taking a brilliant low catch.

Gayle (40 off 28 balls) and KL Rahul had slowly begun to take control of the innings. With some measured stroke-play, the two batsmen have kept the scoreboard ticking.

The lofted drives and pull shots had been played brilliantly by Rahul and Gayle.

Leg-spinner Rahul Tewatia was introduced in the ninth over, and Gayle welcomed him with two superb shots, the first one for four through the covers and the second over a six over the long on boundary. Score: 89/2 in 10 overs.

Sakariya strikes

The Royals have fought back into the contest, thanks to a brilliant piece of bowling from the young Chetan Sakariya.

The 23-year-old pace bowler had the dangerous Mayank Agarwal (14, 9 balls 2 fours) caught behind in the third over.

Agarwal had hit two boundaries, but was caught on the wrong foot by the length of Sakariya.

Chris Gayle has joined captain KL Rahul in the middle after the fall of Agarwal. Score: 39/1 in five overs.

Royals win toss

The Rajasthan Royals have won the toss and put Punjab Kings in. This is the fourth match of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League.

Captain KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have come out to open for Punjab.

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Jos Buttler (wk), 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Ben Stokes, 4 Sanju Samson(capt), 5 Riyan Parag, 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Chris Morris, 9 Shreyas Gopal, 10 Chetan Sakariya, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Punjab Kings: 1 KL Rahul (capt&wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Chris Gayle, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Deepak Hooda, 6 Shahrukh Khan, 7 Jhye Richardson, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Riley Meredith, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Arshdeep Singh

First match

These two teams are the last ones left to open their campaigns in the 14th edition of the world’s richest T20 tournament.

In the three matches so far, the Delhi Capitals, the last year’s runners-up, have been the most impressive team. They outplayed Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.

The Royals Challengers Bangalore had stunned defending champions Mumbai Indians in a last-ball thriller on the opening night.

Then last night, it was the Kolkata Knight Riders that got the better of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

And tonight we have two teams – Rajasthan and Punjab.

Punjab Kings have changed their name from Kings XI Punjab. Will that change their fortunes? We will have to wait and see.

Both teams had their ups and downs last season. Both teams have a point to prove.

Again, both Punjab and Rajasthan have spent big at the auction. But will that translate into performance?

Rajasthan also have a new captain. Sanju Samson. He is a beautiful batsman. But he lacks captaincy experience at the highest level.

So that is something we have to see -- how he handles the pressure of being one of the main batsmen in the team with the added responsibility of captaincy.

But overall we can expect a good game tonight in Mumbai.

There will be explosive players on both sides. Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, captain KL Rahul at Punjab, and Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, who was outstanding last season, at the Royals.

If some of these players bring their top game, you can expect some fireworks tonight.

The two teams (Punjab 6th and RR 8th) finished at the lower rung of the table last season. But don’t forget that only two points separated the third-placed team (Sunrisers, 14 points) in the league last season and the team (RR) that finished last (12 points).

That proves the level of intense competition in the tournament.

And tonight, we could be in for another cracker – just like last year when RR chased down 226 against the Kings at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium in what was an unforgettable encounter.

Rajasthan Royals vs Punjab Kings (6pm UAE Time) today

Likely XIs

Rajasthan Royals: Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal/Manan Vohra, Sanju Samson (capt, wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi/Jaydev Unadkat

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (capt, wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Jalaj Saxena/Saurabh Kumar, Riley Meredith, M Ashwin/Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami

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