Sanju Samson and Steve Smith hammered explosive half-centuries as Rajasthan Royals amassed 216 for 7 against Chennai Super Kings in the Dream11 Indian Premier League at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Kerala youngster Samson came up with a brutally attractive 74 off just 32 balls to provide a solid launch pad for his team. He treated all the bowlers with disdain, particularly CSK veteran leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, to hit one of the fastest fifties in the IPL.
After Samson laid a strong platform, captain Smith (69: 47, 4×4, 4×6) consolidated Rajasthan Royals position by smashing equally important fifty. Thanks to Samson-Smith onslaught, Rajasthan Royals piled up the season’s highest score so far after CSK skipper asked them to bat.
The duo played well in tandem as Royals raced to 119 for 1 in 10 overs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Samson cracked nine sixes and just a solitary four during his swashbuckling knock. It was his eleventh fifty in the IPL. He had a chance and time at his disposal to score his third IPL century but carried away when he was in total command.
Samson smashed leggie Chawla for three straight sixes, snatched two more off left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja followed by one each off pacers Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran to reach the milestone.
The 25-year-old Samson, who has been part of the IPL since 2013, also joined the likes of Owais Shah and Jos Buttler who had earlier smashed the fastest fifties for Royals in the tourney.
In 2012 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, England batsman Shah had hit a 19-ball 50 and last year, Butler had belted an 18-ball half-century against Delhi Capitals.
Smith and Samson added 121 runs rapidly for the second wicket before the latter fell for 74 while trying to hit one more in the orbit.
Towards the end, Jofra Archer played a cameo of 27 not out off only 8 balls to finish the innings in style. The England all-rounder hit four towering sixes to rub the salt into the wounds of CSK bowlers.
Rajasthan Royals 216 for 7 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 74, Steve Smith 69, Jofra Archer 27 not out, Tom Curran 10 not out, Rahul Tewatia 10; Sam Curran 3-33, Deepak Chahar 1-31, Piyush Chawla 1-55, Lungi Ngidi 1-56) vs CSK.