It’s rare that a batsman scored a hundred, and that too in a T20 game, but still receives flak – by a few – when the side loses. Sanju Samson, the newly-appointed skipper of the Rajasthan Royals, is in a similar position after he denied a single on the second last ball of the chase against Punjab Kings.
Chasing a mammoth 222, Sanju Samson, who became the first player to hit an IPL hundred on his captaincy debut, brought down the equation to 5 runs off 2 balls. On the penultimate ball, bowled by pacer medium pacer, Arshdeep Singh, Sanju Samson, batting on 119, drilled the ball to wide long-off but returned Chris Morris back refusing the single.
Morris, who had scored 2 runs off 4 balls, had an expression of disbelief on his face as Sanju Samson backed himself to clear the fence one more time after having hit 12 fours and 7 sixes already in his innings. However, he was caught close to the boundary line at deep cover by Deepak Hooda.
It’s probably the wrong decision: Dale Steyn
South African speedster Dale Steyn opines that the Royals’ captain made an error while denying the single to his Morris. Steyn reckons his compatriot all-rounder is adept enough to hit the ball over the boundary line.
Nonetheless, the pacer believes that Sanju Samson was in his zone, and had already smashed Arshdeep for a six in that over, and rightly anticipated another full and outside off delivery – it’s just his execution that went awry on the last ball.
“When you’re in and you feel like you can hit any ball for a six and that’s the situation that he (Samson) was in, you can’t blame him (for not taking a single).
“I think, he knew where (Arshdeep) Singh was going to bowl… (but) you know when someone like Chris Morris on the other side can also clear the ropes, it’s probably the wrong decision. Well, it’s such a tight (decision) to make…,” Dale Steyn said.
Sanju Samson backed himself to get the job done and he nearly did: Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara, Rajasthan Royals team director, backed the skipper for trusting himself to clear the rope on the last delivery – which he nearly did. The Sri Lankan is happy with the “belief in attitude and commitment” while chasing a big total.
“I think Sanju backed himself to get the job done and he nearly did. He was five or six yards short of hitting the last ball for a six and sometimes when you know you’re hitting the ball well and you’re in form and you believe that you can do it, you’ve got to take that responsibility. And it was really encouraging to see Sanju do that,” Kumar Sangakkara said at the post-match press conference.
“We can always talk about a missed single here or there but the crucial thing for me is the players’ belief in attitude and commitment and they know what their strengths are. And Sanju took it upon himself to finish that game and he just fell a few yards short. That happens, but the next time I’ll believe he’ll hit it that 10 yards further to win us the game,” he added.