Sanju Samson scored the first century of 2017 Indian Premier League as Delhi Daredevils thumped hosts Rising Pune Supergiant by 97 runs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association on Tuesday. (Highlights)
After being asked to bat by stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, the Daredevils rode on Samson’s fine knock before a late blitz from Chris Morris helped them post 205 for four. (Scorecard)
Samson took no time to settle down as he picked up four boundaries in the first six balls he faced. It was a calculated knock from the 22-year-old as he paced his innings well, rotating the strike with Sam Billings and Rishabh Pant once the boundaries dried up.
He reached his half-century in style off 41 deliveries, but neither Billings nor Pant managed to build on their knocks after settling down. While Billings was cleaned up by Imran Tahir, Pant had to depart following a brilliant throw from Mayank Agarwal at point.
That did little to curb Samson’s aggression. Going back to the fiery form he had started the innings with, the Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman dealt in boundaries as he steered his side to a big total.
He plundered 19 runs off Ashok Dinda’s third over before lofting Adam Zampa for a six to reach the triple-figure mark. Although he was dismissed off the next ball, his side had already crossed the 160-mark by then.
Morris then played a gem of a knock lower down the order to add to Pune’s misery as he scored 38 in just nine deliveries, including three sixes and four boundaries.
In reply, the hosts got off to a dismal start as Delhi skipper Zaheer Khan sent back the openers cheaply. Rahane, who led the side after Steve Smith was ruled out with an upset stomach, holed out to mid-off.
Morris then got rid of Rahul Tripathi as the men in purple were reeling at 50/3 at the end of the powerplay overs. Faf du Plessis and Ben Stokes too failed to deliver and departed in successive overs, virtually sealing the fate of the match.
Although the crowd pinned their hopes on MS Dhoni, an escalating run rate and wickets tumbling at the other end proved to be too much. Dhoni’s trademark helicopter shot went straight to deep mid-wicket and even before he could reach the dugout, spectators were seen heading out.