IPL

Samson & Smith see Rajasthan to victory in record-tying clash with CSK

By Sports Desk September 22, 2020

Sanju Samson and Steve Smith powered Rajasthan Royals to a 16-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in their opening fixture of the Indian Premier League season.

CSK kicked off the IPL's 13th season with a five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians, however, they were comfortably second best on Tuesday in Sharjah.

Samson and captain Smith laid the foundation for Rajasthan with a second-wicket partnership of 121 as they set CSK a target of 217.

Had CSK triumphed it would have marked the highest successful chase in IPL history.

However, they never came close to doing so despite an opening partnership of 56 between Shane Watson and Murali Vijay and a powerful 37-ball 72 from Faf du Plessis.

Three sixes in the final over from MS Dhoni saw the record for most maximums in an IPL match tied as the teams combined for 33.

A comfortable Rajasthan success did not appear on the cards when opener Yashasvi Jaiswal fell for six in the third over.

But Samson (74) and Smith (69) tipped the balance of the contest firmly in favour of Rajasthan.

Samson was in destructive form as he bludgeoned the CSK attack, a four and nine sixes marking a devastating 32-ball stay at the crease.

Lungi Ngidi dismissed Samson when a wide delivery outside off was hit to deep cover and David Miller was run out for a duck two balls later.

Smith held the innings together until he fell with 10 balls remaining, with Jofra Archer then adding the finishing touches as he struck Ngidi for four successive sixes - including two off no-balls - in a final over that went for 30.

Rahul Tewatia dealt with the dangerous Watson, whose 33 comprised of four sixes, sending a delivery crashing into his leg stump.

Shreyas Gopal removed Murali (21) five balls later before Tewatia had Sam Curran and Ruturaj Gaikwad stumped in successive deliveries.

Kedar Jadhav's (22) exit left an unlikely fightback on the shoulders of the experienced duo of Du Plessis and Dhoni.

Du Plessis did the heavy lifting in spectacular fashion, with three sixes in the 17th over giving CSK faint hope that was snuffed out when an Archer bouncer did him for pace.

 

Smith shows his class

Smith returned from a head injury suffered during Australia's recent limited-overs tour of England and did so in fine fashion, scoring his first half-century in any format since February.

Archer adds crucial runs

Archer's incredible final-over contribution made sure a mammoth total was out of reach for CSK and he then produced a brilliant bouncer to remove the in-form Du Plessis and put the contest to bed.

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