IPL 2021: Samson, Pollard, Iyer among top-5 highest-scorers on IPL captaincy debut
- Not only did Sanju Samson take RR to the brink of victory in their chase of 222, but also became the first player in the history of IPL to register a hundred on IPL captaincy debut
Sanju Samson's century in Rajasthan Royal's first Indian Premier League 2021 (IPL) match against the Punjab Kings will be remembered for special reasons for a long time to come. Not only did he take RR to the brink of victory in their chase of 222, but also became the first player in the history of IPL to register a hundred on IPL captaincy debut. That, obviously, means he now has the highest-score by a player on IPL captaincy debut.
The wicketkeeper-batsman played a blistering knock of 119 off 63 balls in match 4 of IPL 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. He came in to bat in the first over--at number 3--and was only dismissed on the last ball of the innings while trying to hit a six to take his team over the line.
Needing five runs from two balls, Samson crunched the ball to long-off and didn't take a single despite Chris Morris, IPL's most-expensive player at ₹16.25 crore, almost running a double himself. Samson lofted the Arshdeep Singh's last ball ove extra-cover but fell short by a few yards as Deepak Hooda pouched the ball safely.
-Best of the lot-
The previous best score by a player on IPL captaincy debut belonged to Shreyas Iyer. The right-hander smashed 93 not-out off 40 balls for the erstwhile Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals now) against Kolkata Knight Riders at the-then Feroz Shah Kotla (now Arun Jaitley Stadium).
Third in the list is Mumbai Indians' all-rounder Kieron Pollard. His 83 off 31 balls against PBKS at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai saw him finish the innings at a strike-rate of 267.74.
Aaron Finch, who made his captaincy debut for the now-defunct Pune Warriors Indian in Mohali in 2013, scored 64 off 42 balls.
Murali Vijay rounds up the top-5 with his 41-ball 55 against the now-defunct Gujarat Lions in Rajkot in 2016.
Interestingly, only three of these five knocks came in a winning cause. DC defeated KKR by 55 runs, while MI defeated PBKS three wickets in a last-ball thriller. Murali Vijay's 55 helped PBKS defeat GL by 23 runs.
Only Samson's century and Finch' 64 went in vain as RR and PWI lost four runs and seven wickets, respectively.