Sanju Samson’s effortless six-hitting exhibition along with Jofra Archer’s magnificent all-round show formed the cornerstone of Rajasthan Royals’ comfortable 16-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match in Sharjah on Tuesday.
Rated as the weakest among eight teams, Royals without a Ben Stokes or a Jos Buttler in their playing XI did most things right under skipper Steve Smith.
On a placid Sharjah track, Royals amassed 216 for 7 largely due to Samson’s 74 off 32 balls that had nine maximums apart from a solitary boundary.
He found an able ally in skipper Steve Smith, who opened in T20 cricket for the first time in his career and scored 69 off 47 balls without much fuss while making a comeback to competitive cricket after a concussion break.
But it was Archer’s four sixes off Lungi Ngidi in the final over that tilted the scales decisively with 30 runs coming off it.
Even going by the easy nature of the track, scoreboard pressure was always there and CSK still managed 200 for 6 with Archer (1/26 off 4 overs) swinging it in favour of Royals with a decisive 19th over.
Rahul Tewatia (3/37 in 4 overs) also needs to be credited for his wickets at the top of the order.