Sanju Samson’s Team Rajasthan and KL Rahul’s Team Punjab played yet another scorcher of a high-scoring Indian T20 League game on April 12 at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, but this time around, the former fell a mere four runs short of their target.
Monday’s game was the third consecutive instance where two teams played a game that had 180-plus runs on the board. Last season Rajasthan had triumphed in both the fixtures, but it just wasn’t their night this time around.
Chasing a target of 222 set by Punjab, Rajasthan made a superb start despite losing early wickets but faltered in the middle overs. Sanju Samson, who scored the highest individual score by a Rajasthan player, upped the ante and took the game right until the match's final ball. Facing Arshdeep Singh, Rajasthan either needed a six to win or a boundary to take the game into the Super Over.
The young skipper did try to go for the maximum but fell a few yards short as Punjab won the game by four runs. A game of a magnitude such as this is bound to produce swashbuckling stats, and here we look at a few of them.
Chetan Sakariya - The unsung hero
All of Rajasthan bowlers were taken to the cleaners by Punjab’s batsmen, but a certain Chetan Sakariya, playing in his maiden Indian T20 League season, bowled at an economy of just 7.75. That certainly is a brilliant figure considering that as many as 438 runs were scored during the match. His bowling effort was, in fact, the best among all the other bowlers who bowled more than one over in the match.
|Top 5 economy rate in Rajasthan vs Punjab|
A figure of 3/31 is now his third-best figure in T20 cricket. Sakariya, during his spell, bowled 13 dot balls, with only Punjab’s Mohammed Shami managing to match the tally.
Most dot balls in Rajasthan vs Punjab
- 13- C Sakariya
- 13 – M Shami
- 9 - Arshdeep Singh
Furthermore, two of his three wickets were opening batters and a further bifurcation explains that he gave away just 16 runs off 13 balls he bowled to the Punjab openers.
Sanju Samson’s almost-match-winning knock
While his 63-ball 119 is the highest ever score by a Rajasthan player, Sanju Samson also achieved another record of becoming the first player to hit a ton on a captaincy debut in the Indian T20 League. Here are the top three scores by Indian T20 League captains on their debut:
- Sanju Samson 119 vs Punjab, 2021
- Shreyas Iyer 93* vs Kolkata, 2018
- Kieron Pollard 83 vs Punjab, 2019
Samson’s third century in the Indian T20 League is now the second-most by an Indian after Virat Kohli and joint fifth overall. Here is a list of players with the most tons in the Indian T20 League:
- 6 – Chris Gayle
- 5 – V Kohli
- 4 – Shane Watson and David Warner
- 3- Ab De Villiers and Sanju Samson
Furthermore, Samson’s effort of 119 now the joint second-highest individual score while chasing a target in the league. It is also the second-highest individual score in a losing cause in the league.
- 128*R Pant Delhi v Hyderabad 2018
- 119 S Samson Rajasthan v Punjab 2021
- 117*A Symonds Deccan v Rajasthan 2008
*Highest runs in losing cause*
A whopping 90 of his 119 runs came through boundaries (12x4, 7x6), and this is the fourth-best return by a batsman against Punjab in the Indian T20 League. His knock also helped him complete 2000 runs in the league for Rajasthan. He is now the third Rajasthan player to reach the milestone after Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson.
Arshdeep Singh keeping his cool
Rajasthan needed 13 runs in the final over, and judging by the batting display they had shown in the entire game, it was supposed to be nothing but a cakewalk. On the contrary, 22-year-old Arshdeep Singh not only managed to defend the target but also scalped the wicket of Sanju Samson. He eventually ended with a figure of 3/35, which is now his second-best figure in the Indian T20 League.
|Top three spells for Arshdeep Singh in Indian T20 League|
|3||23||Hyderabad||Dubai||20 October 2020|
|3||35||Rajasthan||Mumbai||12 April 2021|
|2||33||Hyderabad||Dubai||8 October 2020|
The young pacer made quite an impact in the game. In fact, in every phase he came to bowl, he picked a wicket. He bowled two overs during the powerplay and managed to get the wicket of Manan Vora. He got Shivam Dube in the middle over and Samson in the final over.
In his two-and-a-half-year career in the Indian T20 League, the 22-year-old has picked 15 wickets, and nine out of those have come in the death overs. Here is his detailed bifurcation of wickets:
- 4 wickets have come – 20th over.
- 3 wickets have come – 19th over.
- 1 each in -17th and 18th over.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / Indian Premier League