The first qualifier of the IPL 2022 between the Gujarat Titans (GT) and the Rajasthan Royals (RR) started off badly for the latter as they lost the wicket of opener Yashasvi Jaiswal during the powerplay. Scoring just 3 runs off 8 balls, Jaiswal nicked an outswinger off Yash Dayal to Saha behind the stumps.
Sanju Samson, the RR skipper walked in to bat when the scoreboard displayed 11-1 in 2 overs. Facing the first ball after spending an over in the non-striker’s end, Samson got off the mark with an effortless six off Yash Dayal.
With some elegant strokes played all around the park, Samson reached the 40s in no time. Looking to score a half-century in style, he tried hitting left-arm orthodox bowler R. Sai Kishore for a six, only to get caught in the long-on.
Samson departed for a fantastic knock of 47(26), with 5 fours and 3 sixes to his name, while Jos Buttler kept struggling at the other end.
Former India head coach Ravi Shastri lauded Samson for his brilliant knock against the Gujarat Titans, and also expressed his disappointment for Samson not being able to convert it into a big knock.
While speaking to Star Sports, Shastri said, “It was an all-round game. Anything up – hitting through the line, hitting straight, hitting big. Anything short – he was ready to pull it, hit it into the stands. Against spinner he played the waiting game, he threatened to go down the track but played the waiting game. He played a couple of beautiful shots, late, square of the wicket. Top innings. Would have loved it to carry on but that’s always the case with Sanju Samson.”
Heaping more praises for the RR captain, Shastri added, “But at least he put his team on the roof especially when even Buttler was struggling.”
Gujarat Titans managed to win the match by 7 wickets with 3 balls to spare, becoming the first team to qualify for the IPL 2022 final.
(Star Sports inputs)