Rajasthan Royals took revenge of their loss in the IPL 2022 finals at the hands of Gujarat Titans in style with skipper Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer scoring blazing fifties at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Samson turned a game around with his big-hitting after the Royals got off to a horror start – reduced to 4/2 in 3 overs – chasing 178 to win.
Samson scored a 29-ball fifty en route to scoring 60 off 32 balls with 6 sixes and 3 fours to lift the Royals after they posted the lowest Powerplay score of 26 for 2 in 6 overs. In the course of his knock, Samson smashed world No. 1 T20 bowler Rashid Khan for a hat-trick of sixes in an over which turned the tide towards the Royals in the clash.
WATCH Sanju Samson hammers Rashid Khan for a hat-trick of sixes HERE…
Attack MODE _! @IamSanjuSamson Took on Rashid Khan & how _ _
Royals skipper Sanju Samson attributed his team’s maiden win against defending champions Gujarat Titans to their strategy to rotate the bowlers, which helped the 2008 IPL champions to restrict Hardik Pandya’s side to 177 on Sunday. After keeping the Titans to a manageable total, the Royals, despite getting a poor start and huge reverses in powerplay, were able to eke out a memorable three-wicket victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
This is the Royals’ first win against the Titans as they had lost all three matches in IPL 2022, including the final. “I’m very happy to be on the winning side. I think it was very important to rotate the bowlers. They were going hard at our spinners. After the timeout, they were playing some quality cricket shots and we needed to respect that but I’m very proud of our team for restricting them to a 170-odd score,” said Samson.
The Royals’ slow bowlers Adam Zampa and Raichandran Ashwin came in for some harsh treatment from Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya in the seventh and eighth overs and timely rotation of bowlers – bringing in Trent Boult and Yuzvendra Chahal – curtailed the flow of runs.
The skipper was all praise for West Indian Shimron Hetmyer whose unbeaten 26-ball 56 proved to be a match-winning innings. “I don’t think he likes easy situations. We don’t mind putting him in these situations,” said Samson.
Samson said the team needed to pay respect to the Titans bowling attack and the conditions in Ahmedabad in the Powerplay overs. “With the start we had while batting, it was very important to know how good a wicket this was. With the quality of bowling they had in the Powerplay, we had to respect them. But we knew we could play some shots later on,” Samson said.