In an edge-of-the-seat thriller, Rajasthan Royals (RR) chased down a massive 224-run target against KL Rahul-led Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Sharjah International Stadium and set up an IPL record on Sunday.
Sanju Samson's 85 off 42 balls and Rahul Tewatia's 31-ball 53 stole the show. RR skipper and opener Steve Smith (50 off 27 balls) had paved the way for the late blitzkrieg. RR ended up at 226 for six wickets in 19.3 overs, with three balls to spare.
For KXIP, Mayank Agarwal scored a brilliant maiden IPL century (50-ball 106) - the second-fastest by an Indian in the IPL history, after Yusuf Pathan's 37-ball ton in 2010. Skipper KL Rahul also scored 69 runs with a striker rate of 127.77.
Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor praised the 25-year-old Sanju Samson after his fearless knock. "What an absolutely incredible win for @rajasthanroyals ! I’ve known @iamSanjuSamson for a decade & told him when he was 14 that he would one day be the next MS Dhoni," Tharoor said. "Well, that day is here. After his two amazing innings in this IPL you know a world class player has arrived," he added.
However, Samson's comparison with MS Dhoni did not go down well with BJP MP and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir, who has always been a vocal critic of the ex-India captain, said that Samson doesn't need to be next anyone. "He will be ‘the’ Sanju Samson of Indian Cricket," Gambhir wrote.
Earlier, after Sanju Samson's stellar performance (32-ball 74) against the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Gambhir had said, "Sanju Samson is not just the best wicketkeeper batsmen in India but the best young batsman in India!"
Samson has so far scored 159 runs in IPL 2020 and is fourth in the list of players with most runs.