Sanju Samson (c) of Rajasthan Royals play a shot during match 4 of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2021 between Rajasthan Royals and the Punjab Kings held at the Wankhede Stadium Mumbai on the 12th April 2021.
Sanju Samson (c) of Rajasthan Royals play a shot during match 4 of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2021 between Rajasthan Royals and the Punjab Kings held at the Wankhede Stadium Mumbai on the 12th April 2021.
Photo by Arjun Singh/ Sportzpics for IPL


It's going to be a a clash of two underachievers of the last season. Punjab Kings, the biggest auction spenders by virtue of having a bigger purse, will want to translate potential into performance.

Meanwhile, RajasthanRoyals, last year’s wooden spooners, look to start afresh under a new captain in Sanju Samson.

A battle of big-hitters is on the cards when two line-ups dotted with expansive strokemakers clash in pursuit of a winning start to their IPL campaigns here on Monday.

Rajasthan will be banking heavily on their swashbuckling foreign recruits Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler alongside a strong Indian unit comprising of all-rounders Shivam Dube, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag, all suitable for batting-friendly Wankhede track.

Punjab on the other hand boast of some hard-hitters like Rahul (670 runs in 2020 season), Mayank Agarwal (424 runs) and Chris Gayle.

Rahul and Agarwal formed a lethal opening combination in 2020 and would continue to open.

They also have the likes of Englishman Dawid Malan, one of the finest T20 batsmen currently, hard-hitting Tamil Nadu batsman M Shahrukh Khan, and West Indian Nicholos Pooran.

However, it remains to be seen who takes the new ball with Shami. With their spin attack a concern, Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi will have to play their roles well to contain a devastating Rajasthan line-up.

Punjab Kings Squad

KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.

Rajasthan Royals Squad

Sanju Samson (c & wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Manan Vohra, Anuj Rawat, Riyan Parag, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, KC Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh.

Punjab Kings Probable XI

KL Rahul (C & WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Jhye Richardson, Mohammad Shami, Riley Meredith, Arshdeep Singh

Rajasthan Royals Probable XI

Yashasvi Jaiswal, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Sanju Samson (C), Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Chris Morris, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat, Andrew Tye

Glad to have some foreign firepower in bowling line-up, says Kumble

Universe Boss Chris Gayle gives the Punjab Kings'Jersey to PBKS most expensive player Jhye Richardson
Universe Boss Chris Gayle gives the Punjab Kings'Jersey to PBKS most expensive player Jhye Richardson

Anil Kumble, Director of Cricket Operations, Punjab Kings has said he is really pleased with how his side has managed to add some foreign firepower in their bowling. In the players' auction held in February this year, Punjab Kings managed to rope in Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith and the unit also has the experience of Chris Jordon to fall back on this season.

Royals will miss Jofra Archer: Sangakarra

Star pacer Jofra Archer's absence because of injury is a "big blow" to Rajasthan Royals but their new Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara is confident that the team's young Indian fast bowlers will rise to the challenge.

MS Dhoni inspiration behind emergence of keeper-captains: Buttler

Rajasthan Royals' English recruit Jos Buttler believes the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the inspiration behind emergence of wicketkeeper-captains in the world's biggest T20 league, the IPL. Besides Dhoni, who has been Chennai Super Kings' skipper since the inaugural edition in 2008, three more glovesmen -- KL Rahul (Punjab Kings), Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals) and Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals) will lead their respective sides in the ongoing IPL

Can IPL 2021 prove to be a fitting finale for Chris Gayle?

Gayle is the seventh-highest run-scorer in the IPL with 4,772 runs. He owns most hundreds in the tournament's history (6) along with 31 fifties. Despite all his accomplishments in the IPL, Chris Gayle has never lifted the trophy. His team Punjab Kings haven't won it either. Will the Jamaican cricketer do it for himself and Punjab before signing off from the the tournament?

Shivam Dube most likely to make his Rajasthan debut tonight after spending two seasons at RCB

Shivam Dube
Shivam Dube

Shivam Dube previously played 15 matches in the two seasons at RCB; scoring 169 runs at an average of 16.90 and a strike rate of 122.46. He was however impressive with the ball last season picking up 4 wickets at an economy of 8.11 as their sixth bowler.

Three IPL debutants for Punjab Kings Camp

TN's Shahrukh Khan, Hobart Hurricanes' Riley Meredith and Perth Scorchers' Jhye Richardson make debut for Punjab Kings

Mustafizur Rahman and Shivam Dube receive their maiden Rajasthan Royals caps

Toss at 7 pm: Rajasthan Royals win the toss, elect to field against Punjab Kings

Sanju Samson won the toss at Wankhede Stadium
Sanju Samson won the toss at Wankhede Stadium
We did a good job with the auction. Morris, Stokes, Buttler, and Fizz are our overseas players. It's a honour to have Sanga alongside and he makes my job easier. Very excited about the new role.
Sanju Samson - Rajasthan Royals Skipper
We wanted to bowl first, too, but having said that we have to play good cricket. Toss does play a part...I can't really point out batting or bowling; the team is coming together as one. We are happy with the new buys and hopefully we start well. Gayle, Pooran, Richardson, and Meredith are the overseas players.
KL Rahul - Punjab Kings Skipper

Playing XI 

Rajasthan Royals: Jos Buttler (wk), Manan Vohra, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson(c), Riyan Parag, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Shreyas Gopal, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c&wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson, M Ashwin, Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh

Head-to-Head Record

Rajasthan Royals Won - 12

Punjab Kings Won - 9


Chetan Sakariya to open bowling for Rajasthan Royals, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal take the crease

Agarwal off the mark with 4 after KL Rahul takes a single

FOUR! Rahul plays down the leg side

End of Over 1: PBKS (10-0)

KL Rahul 5 (3) Mayank Agarwal 5 (3)

Chetan Sakariya 1-0-10-0

Mustafizur to bowl 2nd over

Mayank survives a loud LBW appeal

No Review! Replays show the in-swinger hit middle and leg. Missed Opportunity for Royals

FOUR! Punjab off to a good start 

Mustafizur Drifts down the leg once again.

Mayank Agarwal* 14 (8) KL Rahul* 6 (4)

Mustafizur Rahman 1-0-11-0 Chetan Sakariya 1-0-10-0

End of Over 2: PBKS (21-0) 

Chetan Sakariya to continue, will bowl 3rd over

WICKET! Mayank Agarwal departs

Sakariya claims his first IPL wicket. Mayank Agarwal tries to hit an outswinger and edges it behind to Samson as he takes a safe catch

Mayank Agarwal c †Samson b Sakariya 14 (9b 2x4 0x6) SR: 155.55

End of Over 3: PBKS (26-1) 

Chris Gayle* 0 (2) KL Rahul* 7 (7)

Chetan Sakariya 2-0-11-1 Mustafizur Rahman 1-0-11-0

Chris Morris comes in to bowl 4th over  

Chris Gayle is the new man in at No. 3

End of Over 4: PBKS (31-1)

9 runs from the Chris Morris over

Mustafizur Continues, will bowl 5th over

Chris Gayle takes guard

End of Over 5: PBKS (39-1)

8 runs from the over

Chris Gayle* 7 (8) KL Rahul* 15 (13)

Mustafizur Rahman 2-0-19-0 Chris Morris1-0-9-0

Morris to bowl final powerplay over

Chris Gayle hits much-needed boundary

Morris pitches it up to Gayle, gets smashed over mid-on

End of power-play: PBKS (46-1)

Rajasthan Royals will be happier of the two sides after the end of 6 overs

Chris Gayle* 14 (14) KL Rahul* 15 (13)

Chris Morris2-0-16-0 Mustafizur Rahman 2-0-19-0

Gopal introduced straight after fielding restrictions

DROPPED! Ben Stokes drops Gayle on boundary

End of Over 7: PBKS (58-1)

12 from the over

Ben Stokes to bowl Over No. 8

SIX followed by a FOUR! Ben Stokes being punished for dropped catch

Gayle launches a pull over midwicket after KL Rahul rotates strike, not before hitting a boundary himself

Punjab Kings moving on nicely here

End of Over 8: PBKS (70-1) 

Another 12-run over

Chris Gayle* 28 (21) KL Rahul* 25 (18)

Ben Stokes 1-0-12-0 Shreyas Gopal 1-0-12-0

Rahul Tewatia replaces Gopal 

FOUR! Chris Gayle looking dangerous

ROCKET SHOT through covers

DROPPED! Dropping Chris Gayle in this form is a crime!

Tewatia drops a caught and bowl chance

SIX! Smashed over long-on for six

The Universe Boss is rubbing salt in the wounds

End of Over 9: PBKS (82-1)

Another 12 run over. CRR: 9.11

Chris Gayle* 39 (26) KL Rahul* 26 (19)

Rahul Tewatia 1-0-12-0 Ben Stokes1-0-12-0

Parag to bowl Over No. 10

WICKET! Chris Gayle Departs

Stokes catches it on long-on this time.

Chris Gayle c Stokes b Parag 40 (28b 4x4 2x6) SR: 142.85

END OF OVER 10: PBKS (89/2)

Stokes leaves the field for treatment after catch; Hooda is the new man in at No. 4 ahead of Pooran

Tewatia to continue

SIX! Rahul takes charge!

Lofted straight-drive over bowler

End of Over 11: PBKS (102-2)

13 runs from the over

KL Rahul* 44 (27) Deepak Hooda*1 (2)

Rahul Tewatia 2-0-25-0 Riyan Parag 1-0-7-1

Gopal into the attack

End of Over 12: PBKS (110-2)

8 runs off the over

Deepak Hooda* 7 (6) KL Rahul* 46 (29)

Shreyas Gopal 2-0-20-0 Rahul Tewatia 2-0-25-0

20 runs off Over 13: Hooda smashes 2 sixes while KL Rahul launches one over boundary. Dube taken to cleaners

End of Over 13: PBKS (130-2)

Gopal to bowl Over No. 14

Another massive over for Punjab Kings

Deepak Hooda* 39 (15) KL Rahul* 54 (32)

Shreyas Gopal 3-0-40-0 Shivam Dube 1-0-20-0

End of Over 14: PBKS (150-2)

Mustafizur to bowl Over No. 15! Royals desperate for a wicket


Buttler runs back from cover only to drop a catch that had Stokes' name written all over it. Hooda survives!

SIX! KL smashes it over third-man for MAXIMUM! 

End of Over 15: PBKS (161-2)

Morris into the attack

Punjab Kings marching on; look set for score of 220

SIX! HOODA you beauty!

He is 47 off 17 now

FIFTY for Hurricane Hooda!

20-ball 50. Just what the doctor ordered for Punjab Kings

Good comeback by Stokes to finish off the over 

End of Over 16: PBKS (172-2)

11 runs from the over

Deepak Hooda* 51 (21) KL Rahul* 64 (38)

Chris Morris 3-0-27-0 Mustafizur Rahman 3-0-30-0

Sakariya back into the attack

How good has he been in the backdrop of sensational hitting by Punjab Kings. His figures - 11-1 in 2 over

Only 2 off first four balls

Can't keep Hooda quiet tonight

Back to back fours to finish off the over. One behind the keeper and one over the bowler. No! It's a no ball


Another Four! Commentator's curse for the young lad. Finishes of the over leaking 13 off the last 2 deliveries

End of Over 17: PBKS (187-2)  

Deepak Hooda*64 (27) KL Rahul* 65 (39)

Chetan Sakariya 3-0-26-1 Chris Morris 3-0-27-0

Morris will bowl Over 18

SIX off the first ball! KL Rahul has silently moved up to the score of 71 without being noticed

WICKET! Hurricane Hooda departs!

Hits it straight in the hands of long-on. Parag takes a regular catch. Dug-out gives him an applause

Deepak Hooda c Parag b Morris 64 (28b 4x4 6x6) SR: 228.57

SIX! Rahul hits it long and hard!

Morris bowls it short and gets smothered over deep midwicket.

KL Rahul takes a single and gets Pooran on strike

WICKET! Fine leg takes a fine catch

Sakariya takes a brilliant catch! Dives full length and grabs it two-handed.

Nicholas Pooran c Sakariya b Morris 0 (1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0

End of Over 18: PBKS (201/4)

FOUR! KL slices it over extra cover

KL Rahul batting on 84

Will he get a 100? nine balls to go

M Shahrukh Khan is the new man in at No. 6

End of Over 19: PBKS (216-4)

15 runs from it

Shahrukh Khan* 5 (2) KL Rahul*87 (48)

Mustafizur Rahman 4-0-45-0 Chris Morris 4-0-41-2

4! KL enters the 90s! Sakariya is bowling the final over

Rahul smashes the slower one over extra-cover

WICKET! End of a KLassy innings

Tewatia produces what he is known for - magical moments. Rahul grabs the ball with both hands before crossing over the boundary, tosses it back into play and grabs it on rebound

KL Rahul c Tewatia b Sakariya 91 (50b 7x4 5x6) SR: 182

WICKET! Fine fine last over from the debutant 

Jhye Richardson out off the last ball

Jhye Richardson c Morris b Sakariya 0 (2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0

Punjab Kings finish on 221-6

221/6 in 20 overs (K L Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64; Chetan Sakariya 3/31).

Innings Break!

Punjab Kings make 221 for six against Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match here on Monday.

They were struggling as they scored only 46 runs in the powerplay overs and crossing 180-mark seemed difficult. However, K L Rahul brilliantly anchored the innings and top-scored with 91 off 40 balls while Deepak Hooda smashed 64 off 28.

IPL debutant Chetan Sakariya was the pick of the Rajasthan bowlers with three wickets for 31 runs in four overs.

221/6 in 20 overs (K L Rahul 91, Deepak Hooda 64; Chetan Sakariya 3/31).

Start of 2nd innings

Shami to bowl first over; Ben Stokes on strike

WICKET! What a huge blow for Rajasthan Royals

Shami takes the catch off his own bowling. The star batsman attempts a pull on Shami's heavy short ball only to manage a top edge.

End of Over 1: RR (4-1)

SIX! Vohra wrists it over midwicket fence

FOUR! Vohra trying to take charge of this big run-chase

DROPPED! Ashwin at deep third man drops the catch. Vohra survives

End of Over 2: RR (17-1)

13 runs from the over

Manan Vohra*12 (6) Sanju Samson 4*(3)

Jhye Richardson 1-0-13-0 Mohammed Shami 1-0-4-1

Shami to continue

End of Over 3: RR (25-1)

8 runs from it

Sanju Samson*12 (9) Manan Vohra*12 (6)

Mohammed Shami 2-0-12-1 Jhye Richardson 1-0-13-0

Arshdeep Singh to bowl Over No. 4

Wicket! Vohra caught and bowled

Vohra hits it hard but Arshdeep snatches it from his right side

Manan Vohra c & b Arshdeep Singh 12 (8b 1x4 1x6) SR: 150

End of Over 4: RR (30-2)

5 runs and a wicket from the over

RR Need 192 from 96 balls

Sanju Samson*16 (12) Jos Buttler*1 (1)

Arshdeep Singh 1-0-5-1 Mohammed Shami 2-0-12-1

Meredith to bowl Over No. 5

4! 4! 4! 4! BUTTLER cooking something special!

Four consecutive boundaries off the first four balls. What a way to welcome Meredith to the IPL

End of Over 5: RR (48-2)

18 runs from the over. Required Rate: 11.60

Sanju Samson*17 (13) Jos Buttler* 18 (6)

Riley Meredith 1-0-18-0 Arshdeep Singh1-0-5-1

Samson playing an anchor's role

Strikes two boundaries in the final over of the powerplay.

End of Over 6: RR (59-2)

Sanju Samson* 27 (17) Jos Buttler* 19 (8)

Arshdeep Singh2-0-16-1 Riley Meredith1-0-18-0

Murugan Ashwin to bowl Over No. 7

End of Over 7: RR (68-2)

9 runs from it

Richardson into the attack

WICKET! A huge one that too. Buttler is gone!

First IPL wicket for Richardson. Bowls a slower one that kisses off stump

Jos Buttler b Richardson 25 (13b 5x4 0x6) SR: 192.3

End of Over 8: RR (78-3)

Shivam Dube*8 (3) Sanju Samson*29 (22)

Jhye Richardson2-0-23-1 Murugan Ashwin1-0-7-0

Meredith comes back into the attack

SIX! Dube launches it over long-off

Brute pace not working well for Meredith. Last ball was 142 kms/hr

End of Over 9: RR (87-3) 

Need 135 from 66 balls

Sanju Samson*37 (26) Shivam Dube* 9 (5)

Riley Meredith 2-0-27-0 Jhye Richardson 2-0-23-1

Ashwin back into the attack

Ashwin bowls a quiet over

End of Over 10:  RR (95-3)

8 runs from it

Required rate now: 12.70

Sanju Samson 41 (30) Shivam Dube 11 (7)

Murugan Ashwin 2-0-15-0 Riley Meredith2-0-27-0

Rajasthan Royals need to put foot on the gas to come close to the target

Meredith hasn't had a good debut and Rajasthan will look to target him


Banged in short and Samson slices it over fine leg for six

FOUR! Fifty for Samson

Plays the short ball over keeper's head to bring maiden fifty as RR captain

End of Over 11: RR (109-3)

Sanju Samson* 54 (35) Shivam Dube* 12 (8)

Riley Meredith 3-0-41-0 Murugan Ashwin 2-0-15-0

Ashwin to continue, will bowl Over No. 12

End of Over 12: RR (117-3)

Let-arm pacer Arshdeep replaces Meredith

WICKET! Dube caught at long-off by Hooda

Shivam Dube c Hooda b Arshdeep Singh 23 (15b 3x4 0x6) SR: 153.33

End of Over 13: RR (128-4)

Riyan Parag* 4 (1) Sanju Samson* 58 (39)

Arshdeep Singh 3-0-27-2 Murugan Ashwin* 3-0-23-0

Shami comes into the attack

Four followed by a MASSIVE SIX!

Parag flicks India's premier pacer over midwicket! Nonchalant shot!

End of Over 14: RR (141-4) 

Sanju Samson* 64 (43) Riyan Parag* 11 (3)

Mohammed Shami 3-0-25-1Arshdeep Singh 3-0-27-2

Samson needs to step up

81 needed in six overs

Richardson introduced back into the attack

End of Over 15: RR (154-4)

13 runs from the over including a six and four

Ashwin to bowl Over No. 16

Rajasthan Royals need this to be a big over

Parag and Samson taking the game away from Punjab Kings with superb onslaught!

20 runs from the over! 

End of Over 16: RR (174-4)

Just 48 from needed from 24 balss

Riyan Parag 25 (9) Sanju Samson 83 (49)

Murugan Ashwin 4-0-43-0 Jhye Richardson3-0-36-1

Shami brought back into the attack to break this dangerous partnership 

WICKET! Parag edges it to the keeper

Punjab Kingg breathe a sigh of relief as Go-to man Shami dismisses Parag

Shami does the job for his captain

8 runs from the over. Royals need 40 from 18 balls

Sanju Samson* 88 (51) Rahul Tewatia* 1 (2)

Mohammed Shami4-0-33-2 Murugan Ashwin4-0-43-0

Jhye Richardson to bowl 18th over

Samson on strike 88*


4,6,4 off the first 3 balls as Samson brings up a fine century

End of Over 18: RR (201-5)

19 runs from the over

21 needed from 12 balls

Rahul Tewatia* 2 (3) Sanju Samson* 105 (56) Jhye Richardson4-0-55-1 Mohammed Shami4-0-33-2

Meredith to bowl penultimate over

Tewatia on strike


Edged and taken by KL behind the stumps.

Rahul Tewatia c †Rahul b Meredith 2 (4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50


Samson brings his wrists into play. Smoothly hits it over midwicket

End of Over 19 RR (209-6)

Arshdeep Singh to bowl final over

13 off 6. Samson on strike

Dot ball

13 from 5

1 run

Full and wide. More imortantly Punjab have Samson off strike

1 run 

Samson on strike. 11 needed off 3



Dot ball

Samson declines a run

5 off 1 

A Royal Heartbreak!

Samson caught at long off. Arshdeep saves the game for Punjab Kings

Post-match interviews

The plan was to keep it simple and wide. The only thing he (Samson) could have got was a four.
Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh after bowling the final over
I don't have words to explain my feelings. Would have loved to finish it off for my team. I don't think I could have done better than that. I thought I timed it well for a six but somehow... Catches go down and good catches were also taken. It's part of the game.
Sanju Samson after scoring a brilliant century

Post-match presentations

"Heart rate was high but I didn't stop believing. We knew a couple of wickets would bring us back. Till first 10-11 overs we bowled well. It was close because we dropped a few sitters, including me. As a bowling unit, we bowled as we planned. When you're bowling against Sanju, it's difficult. We weren't thinking of the last year's game (the Tewatia one). Great way to start. We made some mistakes. Bowled well in patches, something bowlers will learn. It's a young team, some new boys, the boys are talented and skillful, so we need to back them. Deepak Hooda's innings was amazing. That's the kind of batting we want to see as a team. We want to bat fearlessly and take down bowlers. We have a lot of power in our line-up but we've been tentatively slightly. Important for us to bat fearlessly, great to see boys trying to understand what we expect. And that they are feeling comfortable to do that role. Good with Hooda's batting, Gayle batted well. I had gone to Arshdeep for crucial overs last year too. He doesn't mind bowling the pressure overs, he seems to enjoy it. He loves being in the contest. Love throwing him the ball. He's pretty clear with what he wants to do."
KL Rahul, Punjab Kings Captain

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