Sharjah: Sanju Samson and skipper Steve Smith smashed quickfire half-centuries to guide Rajasthan Royals to a formidable 216 for seven against Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match here on Tuesday.
Going in to bat, Rajasthan lost young opener Yashasvi Jaiswal (6) in the third over but then Samson joined hands with Smith as the duo played sensibly initially before the Kerala wicket-keeper batsman went hammer and tongs at opposition spinners.
Samson (74 off 32) looked in great nick, while Smith, returning to competitive cricket after recovering from concussion suffered before the ODI series against England, made 67 off 49 balls to lay the base for Rajasthan’s total.
In the final over, Jofra Archer (27 off 8 balls) hit four sixes off Lungi Ngidi as Royals got 30 runs to take the score past 215.
In all, Royals hit 17 sixes with Samson accounting for nine of them and Smith and Archer having four each in their kitties.
While Smith played the second fiddle initially, Samson took the CSK spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla to task taking 95 runs of eight overs collectively.
Introduced into the attack in the seventh over, Jadeja was clobbered for consecutive sixes by Samson before Chawla went for four sixes in his first over—three by Samson and one by Smith.
Samson, thus, brought up his quickest IPL fifty in just 19 balls with the help of one boundary and six hits over the fence.
If that was not enough for Chawla, the leg-spinner again leaked in his next over as both Samson and Smith took him to cleaners.
CSK made a much-needed comeback in the match in the 12th over with twin blows in the form of in-form Samson and unlucky David Miller.
While after some great hitting display, Samson fell in search of one too many, caught by Deepak Chahar off Lungi Ngidi, Miller departed two balls later in search on a non-existent double.
CSK made another comeback into the match in the 17th over when Sam Curran dismissed Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag before Smith departed in the 119th over in search of big hits.
In the last over, Jofra Archer used his long handle to great effect and smashed Ngidi to all parts of the ground and above it to pick up 30 runs....