Sanju Samson completes 3,000 runs for Rajasthan Royals

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GUJARAT: Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Sanju Samson completed 3,000 runs for his franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday, becoming the first batter to do so.

Samson reached this milestone during his side’s IPL 2023 match against Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

In the match, during a run-chase of 178 runs, Samson scored a game-changing 60 runs in just 32 balls. His knock consisted of three fours and six sixes. His runs came at a strike rate of 187.50.

For RR in 115 matches, Samson has scored 3,006 runs at an average of 29.76 and a strike rate of 139.10. He has scored two centuries and 16 fifties for the side, with the best score of 119.

His most prolific season came in 2021. In 14 matches that year, he scored 484 runs at an average of 40.33 and a strike rate of 136.72. He scored one century and two half-centuries, with the best score of 119.

Behind him in the run-scoring charts for RR are Ajinkya Rahane (2,810 runs in 100 matches), Jos Buttler (2,508 in 63 matches), Shane Watson (2,372 runs in 78 matches) and Rahul Dravid (1,276 runs in 46 matches).

In his IPL career, which also saw him represent Delhi Capitals, Sanju has scored 3,683 runs at an average of 29.23 and a strike rate of 136.76. He has scored three centuries and 19 fifties in his career, with the best score of 119. Sanju is the 17th-highest run-scorer in the league’s history.

The 2021 IPL season remains his most prolific season ever.

The top five-run scorers in IPL are Virat Kohli (6,838 runs in 227 matches), Shikhar Dhawan (6,477 runs in 210 matches), David Warner (6,109 runs in 167 matches), Rohit Sharma (5,986 runs in 231 matches) and Suresh Raina (5,528 runs in 205 matches).

Coming to the match, put to bat first by RR, GT posted 177/7 in their 20 overs. After the fall of Wriddhiman Saha (4) and Sai Sudharshan (20), GT was reduced to 32/2.

A 59-run stand for the third wicket between Shubman Gill (45 off 34 balls with four boundaries and a six) and skipper Hardik Pandya (28 off 19 balls with three fours and a six) helped GT find their way back into the game.

Later, knocks from David Miller (46 in 30 balls, with three fours and two sixes) and Abhinav Manohar (27 in 13 balls with three sixes) helped GT reach a competitive total. The duo put on 45 run stand for the fifth wicket.

Sandeep Sharma was the pick of the bowlers for RR, taking 2/25 in his four overs. Trent Boult, Adam Zampa and Yuzvendra Chahal got a wicket each.

In chase of 178, RR did not have a good start and at one point they were reduced to 55/4 in 10.3 overs after Yashaswi Jaiswal (1), Jos Buttler (0), Devdutt Paddikal (26) and Riyan Parag (5) were dismissed quickly.

The duo of Sanju Samson (60 in 32 balls with three fours and six sixes) and Shimron Hetymer helped RR get back in the game with a 59-run stand for the fifth wicket.

Small cameos came from Dhruv Jurel (18) and Ravichandran Ashwin (10). Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 56 in 26 balls with two fours and five sixes to seal a three-wicket win with four balls to go.

Mohammed Shami (3/25) impressed with the ball for GT. Rashid Khan also took 2/46 in four overs. Hardik Pandya and Noor Ahmed got a wicket each.

Shimron clinched the ‘Player of the Match’ title for his explosive fifty.

With this win, RR is at the top of the table with four wins and a loss in five games. They have a total of eight points. GT is in the third position with three wins and two losses in five matches. They have a total of six points. (ANI)

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