Last year’s finalists, Rajasthan Royals pulled off a memorable run chase against defending champions Gujarat Titans, handing them their second consecutive defeat at home. It was their skipper Sanju Samson who led from the front with a 32-ball 60 and laid the foundation for a difficult run-chase that was ended by Shimron Hetmyer. Praising Samson, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh compared him to none other than the legendary MS Dhoni while pleading his case for regular playing time in the Indian national cricket team.
“We have seen the knock of another captain from Sanju. I have said in the past and still believe that he should be a regular feature in the Indian national side (in the white-ball formats). He can take on spinners and pacers with equal ease. He knows how to handle pressure and is a strong-willed player. He has faith in his abilities, just like MS Dhoni,” Harbhajan said on Star Sports.
Defending a target of 178, Gujarat Titans had the best start to their second innings as skipper Hardik Pandya and Mohammed Shami dismissed the lethal duo of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler for 1 (7) and 0. They went. (5) respectively.
Devdutt Padikkal and Sanju Samson came to hold the sinking ship of the Rajasthan innings. Sanju Samson started the pace from one side while Padikkal focused on strike rotation. But Rashid Khan came with his experience to break the partnership as Padikkal lost his wicket at 26(25) in 8.3 overs.
Riyan Parag came to support Sanju, but Rashid Khan was in no mood to give Rajasthan a chance to make a comeback. Parag returned to the pavilion with a score of 5(7).
The Rajasthan captain still played on his own accord and made the GT bowlers dance to his tune. Shimron Hetmyer and Sanju Samson brought Rajasthan back into the game, with the former remaining unbeaten as the Royals chased down the target with 4 balls to spare.