IPL2024: Sandeep Sharma and Sanju Samson shine as RR defeats the Lucknow Super Giants

The captain of the Royals scored 64 runs off of 41 balls until Sandeep Sharma, a bowler, stopped LSG’s drive for a 20-run victory in Jaipur with his critical 17th over.

In a game where Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants had three wicketkeeping options each, it was only apt that the biggest contributions came from them. Electing to bat, skipper Sanju Samson hit an unbeaten 52-ball 82 to take RR to 193/4. In response, Nicholas Pooran, who didn’t don the keeping gloves with LSG captain KL Rahul performing that role, also produced fireworks with an unbeaten 64 off 41 balls.

But if Samson claimed credit for helping them win by 20 runs in their first IPL match on Sunday in Jaipur, it was because of medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma’s equally significant performance. Pooran and Rahul had put on 85 runs in 51 balls for the fifth wicket up until that point, so LSG would have backed themselves when they required 49 runs off the final four overs.

However, Sharma showed courage by bowling at the very end and produced a crucial 17th over that resulted in five runs and Rahul’s wicket. Supporting Sharma, R Ashwin conceded just four runs in the eighteenth over and removed Marcus Stoinis’s finger. With only 38 runs needed in the final two overs, LSG was deemed unbeatable even by a hitter with Pooran’s strength.

It was surprising that LSG made it thus far given that they were pinned with three wickets at 11 runs in 3.1 overs. In his opening over, Quinton de Kock delivered Trent Boult a gift when he flipped a half-volley on leg stump to Nandre Burger at long leg. Boult dismissed Devdutt Padikkal (0 — 3b) in his second over with a short ball that stayed low and slid beneath the batter’s attempted pull. In the middle of play, Ayush Badoni chipped Burger to Jos Buttler.

Despite the dismal beginning to Lucknow’s pursuit, Deepak Hooda struck back with a 13-ball 26. Hooda’s brief visit was essential to preventing the asking rate from going over because Rahul was prone to delayed beginnings. Rahul had used 19 balls for 20 runs when Yuzvendra Chahal removed Hooda in the eighth over. Rahul then caught up against Burger in the 11th over with a run-chase of 6, 4, and 4. Rahul scored another four off Ashwin’s paddle sweep in the following over.


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