IPL 2022: "Hardik had a really good day," Sanju Samson lauds GT skipper after RR's 37-run loss

Pandya scored 87* runs and also took one wicket with the ball.

Hardik Pandya played an unbeaten knock of 87 runs | BCCI - IPL

Rajasthan Royals (RR) skipper Sanju Samson on Thursday (14th April) talked about the loss his side suffered against Gujarat Titans (GT) in the 24th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. He lauded his counterpart, Hardik Pandya, for his all-round performance and admitted that they conceded 10-15 runs extra. 

RR registered their second loss of the IPL 15 after GT thrashed them by 37 runs in Mumbai. Bowling first, after winning the toss, the Samson-led side had a brilliant start with the ball as they reduced the opposition to 53/3 within the 7 overs. 

However, after that GT captain, Pandya stood tall for his side and played one of his finest knocks in the league. The all-rounder scored unbeaten 87 runs and helped his side finish the innings on a high. He was complimented well by Abhinav Manohar (43) and David Miller, who played a cameo of 31* runs to help his side post a total of 192 runs on the board. 

Read Also: Cricket fraternity lauds Hardik Pandya’s captain's knock as his 87* takes GT to 192/4

Chasing the target, although Jos Buttler (54) provided RR with a fiery start, they lost three wickets inside the power play. Samson looked in good touch but he was undone by Pandya, who produced a stunning effort in the field to run him out for 11 runs. 

RR then kept losing wickets at regular intervals and managed only 155 runs. For GT, Lockie Ferguson was the pick of the bowlers and returned with the figures of 3/23. Apart from him, debutant Yash Dayal also took three wickets while skipper Pandya and Mohammad Shami also had one wicket each to their name. 

Speaking at the post-match presentation, RR skipper Sanju Samson admitted that GT scored 10-15 runs extra but said that if they had wickets in hand the target was chasable. He also credited his counterpart Hardik for playing a ‘very good innings’. 

The keeper-batter also remarked that his side missed Trent Boult, who missed the game due to a niggle, and was hopeful that the left-arm pacer will be back for the next game. 

“You can say that (if Gurajat got 10-15 extra runs). But I would like to give credit to their batters. Hardik played a very good innings, they played really well to get that score. If we had wickets in hand this was chasable I feel. We were almost there in terms of run rate, in the powerplay we had a better run rate actually, But we kept losing wickets. 

“Freaky niggle last night in training, definitely missed him (Boult). Hopefully he will be back soon. He (Hardik) had a really good day today, batted, bowled and fielded well,”  Sanju Samson said. 

Read Also: Cricket fraternity reacts as RR lose to GT by 37 runs; GT go to the top of points table

Samson talked about learning their lessons and coming back strong in the next game. On Ashwin's promotion to No. 3, he said the team's focus is on being "flexible" according to the combination.

“I have played enough number of years in this league to understand that each game is crucial. Very important to learn and comeback stronger in the next game. I was doing No. 3 continuously till last season. 

“So we decided to have that flexibility, come down at No. 4 or 5 or wherever the team needs me. Having someone like R Ashwin allows us to do that, Devdutt Padikkal batted 3 in the first three games. So it all depends on the combination we are playing,” he said. 

The Sanju Samson-led side will next face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Monday (18th April) at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. 

(ANI inputs) 


By Ankitjit Singh - 14 Apr, 2022

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