Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Punjab Kings played out a magical match here in Mumbai to spice up what would otherwise have been a mundane Monday. The Wankhede high-scoring thriller saw both teams register 200+ totals; with Rajasthan ultimately falling shy of the target by a narrow margin of 4-runs.
Royals’ captain Sanju Samson almost carried his side home with a breathtaking inning of 119- the highest score by any IPL captain on debut. Chasing a mammoth target of 222, Samson almost single-handedly brought down the equation to 13 off the final over. It further narrowed down to five runs off the last ball.
With an on-song Samson on strike, RR fans had high hopes for a win or a super-over climax. But Punjab’s Arshdeep Singh kept his nerves and claimed the all-important wicket to hand Rajasthan a four-run heartbreak.
“The coin looked really nice, so I pocketed it, but the referee said no”- Sanju Samson on his hilarious actions at the toss
The nail-biter ended on a sad note for the Royals, but captain Sanju still maintained his happy-go-lucky demeanour in the post-match interview. In his Man of The Match briefing with Harsha Bhogle, the 26-year-old shared how much he wanted to keep the toss’ coin with himself. Sadly, though, match referee Manu Nayyar turned his requests down.
“Just one final question: Is that coin still in your pocket?”, Harsha asked Sanju during the live interview.
“No, I gave it back”, a smiling Samson revealed. “The coin looked really nice so I pocketed it. I asked the referee if I can have it, but he said no, so I had to return it.”
Samson’s heroics aside, Rajasthan had plenty to cheer for in their young local stars’ performances. Fast-bowler Chetan Sakaria bowled a brilliant spell on debut and finished with figures of 4-0-31-3. On the batting front, the likes of Riyan Parag (25 off 13) and Shivam Dube (23 off 15) played some impressive cameos.
Punjab, meanwhile, would be buoyed to have their captain KL Rahul back in scintillating form. The Kings’ captain missed out on a well-deserved hundred but finished strongly on 91 off 50. He was ably supported by Chris Gayle (40 off 28) and Deepak Hooda (64 off 28). Bowling-wise, too, he had a lot of positives in the form of his Indian pacers Mohammed Shami (2/33) and Arshdeep (2/35).