IPL 2024: Samson’s 82* triumphs over Rahul, Pooran’s half-centuries as Royals beat Giants by 20 runs (ld)

Jaipur, March 24 – Nicholas Pooran’s 63 and KL Rahul’s 58 went in vain as Rajasthan Royals (RR) rode on a superb unbeaten 82 by skipper Sanju Samson and clinical bowling performance to beat Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 20 runs in the fourth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL), here at Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Electing to bat first, Rajasthan Royals stormed to a competitive 193/4 in their 20 overs thanks to a 93-run partnership between Samson and Riyan Parag before coming back to restrict Lucknow Super Giants to 173/6 to start their IPL 2024 campaign on a winning note.

Chasing the target of 194, Lucknow Super Giants struggled early in the inning as Trent Boult struck twice in consecutive overs, dismissing Quinton de Kock and Devdutt Padikkal. In his first over after getting struck for four by de Kock, Boult made a comeback with a fullish delivery outside leg and Nandre Burger took an easy catch at the fine leg.

Boult then removed Padikkal for a duck, who was in his debut inning for LSG. The seasoned pacer from New Zealand went slightly on the shorter side of the length this time while angling it into the left-hander. The ball pitched on or about off stump, and came back in while not entirely taking off from the pitch. Padikkal had shaped to swipe – perhaps seeing the length – and so it was too late by the time he tried to bend.

Nandre Burger, who came in as an Impact Player then removed Ayush Badoni for one run.

After the early setback, Deepak Hooda and skipper K.L. Rahul pulled LSG back into the game as they both stitched a partnership collecting boundaries and maximums. Hooda’s first two scoring strokes were a six and a four in consecutive balls as he used Burger’s pace to pick the deep third boundary before Rahul recovered from another helmet-thumping bouncer from Boult to slog-sweep R. Ashwin over deep midwicket for six. LSG finished the Powerplay at 47 for 3.

Yuzvendra Chahal struck in his first over to extend his lead at the top of the IPL all-time wickets stats. It was an appropriately breezy knock from Hooda, 26 from 13 all told, including a second six over deep midwicket off Avesh Khan. But his attempt to charge Chahal failed, as Dhruv Jurel judged well to take the catch, five metres in from the rope.

Lucknow reached 76 for 4 at the halfway mark, with Pooran surviving a diving attempt from Riyan Parag at long-off to bring up his first six. But the chase was far from done yet, as Burger bowled an expensive third over conceding 17 runs including a six and two fours from Rahul.

Boult returned for his fourth and final over and ended up conceding 20 runs, including two maximums and a boundary. Rahul, meanwhile reached his fifty from 35 balls. A perfectly even-paced response to that powerplay meltdown.

Pooran on the other hand batted sensibly and rotated the strike carefully. Rajasthan kept themselves in the fight keeping the run-rate at roughly two-a-ball. After the strategic time-out, KL Rahul looked in a hurry and took on the wide line from Sandeep Sharma and picked out Jurel in the covers. Rahul got out for a well-made 58 from 44, ending a stand of 85 from 52, as Marcus Stoinis joined the battle.

Marcus Stoinis has to go hard from the get-go, and Ashwin’s carrom ball had his measure. A slog to deep midwicket brought Krunal Pandya to the middle as Stoinis went back to the pavilion scoring just three off four deliveries.

Sandeep Sharma bowled a brilliant 19th over, giving just 11 overs, leaving Avesh Khan to defend 27 in the final six balls. Avesh was outstanding with his wide outside yorker and delivered on the captain’s expectations as he gave only six runs. It was an anticlimactic end for the Giants as they lost the match by 20 runs.

Earlier in the first inning, Rajasthan Royals scored 193/4 in their 20 overs. Skipper Samson was the key batter for the Royals as he continued to find gaps and score boundaries with ease. His innings of 82 off 52 deliveries were marked with six maximums and three boundaries.

After an early setback, Samson anchored the Royals innings whereas Riyan Parag played the aggressive part. Coming to bat at No. 4, all-rounder Parag, who had a good domestic season, got off to a decent start but soon started changing gears. Yash Thakur with his first over of the inning got punished for 21 runs. Both the Royals batter marked their bowler and took all possible risks to score against him. Ravi Bishnoi was welcomed with 15 runs by Parag and Samson.

Skipper Samson reached his maiden fifty against LSG in 33 deliveries. In between this, left-arm unorthodox spinner Krunal Pandya held the game in favour of the Giants. His four-over; 19 runs spell was marked by no boundary.

Parag fell short of his half-century as he was dismissed by Haq, who clinched his second wicket of the evening. The over already saw the Royals batter scoring 14 runs, a boundary, a maximum, and few wides and singles. However, in an attempt to pull a short ball over a deep backward square leg, Parag lost his wicket as he holed out to substitute fielder Deepak Hooda. Parag was dismissed for 43 runs.

Parag and Samson added 93 runs for the third-wicket partnership. However, the partnership was marked by three dropped chances by the Giants fielder. Mohsin Khan dropped Parag at 21 and Samson at 36.

The outstanding performance by Sandeep Sharma at the crucial juncture of the game proved fruitful for the Royals as they kicked off the tournament with a win. Boult yet again in the powerplay was superb, Ashwin was a bit expensive but got the big wicket of Stoinis. A brilliant team performance from the Royals and they will now face Delhi Capitals on March 28 at Jaipur.

Brief Score:

Rajasthan Royals 193/4 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 82 not out, Riyan Parag 43; Naveen-ul-Haq 2-42, Ravi Bishnoi 1-38) beat Lucknow Super Giants 173/6 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 64 not out, KL Rahul 58; Trent Boult 2-35, Sandeep Sharma 1-22) by 20 runs.


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