Rajasthan Royals, on April 12, lost their Indian Premier League 2021 match against the Punjab Kings by four runs at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. A close-contest that went down to the last over, saw both the teams score runs at win and clobber the opposition bowlers to ever part of the ground.
Batting first, Punjab Kings went berserk, racking up a mammoth 221 in their 20 overs. A tall target on sight, the RR lost opener Ben Stokes for a duck as Mohammed Shami swung things in his team's favour. The batting line-up struggled against the Punjab Kings bowlers on a belter of a pitch.
When other failed, only captain Sanju Samson stood tall and took the charge of seeing his team home. At a strike rate of 189, Samson smacked 12 boundaries and seven maximums. Negotiating the bowlers with ease, Samson did what he does best, clean and crisp hitting.
He also scored a record-making century. Pretty neat.
While Samson kept batting, wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Having taken the match till the last over, it was only poetic if Samson could lead his team to victory. However, a young Arshdeep Singh kept his cool and produced a fine over to deny the Samson-led team a famous victory.
Through this, the Rajasthan Royals made it clear, again, that to beat them, the opposition has to dig deep into their reservoir. The will power and the team unity that the RR exudes, makes it difficult for other teams to go past RR's iron-class resolve.
If one fails, the other stands. If the other fails, another steps up. Royals have always brought the fight to the opposition. With a mixture of young and experienced players, RR has, in the past, given blockbuster performances.
Not giving up in the bowling department, not giving up in the fielding or batting department, the Rajasthan-base team has always been a tough nut to crack.
With the IPL 2021 underway, it will be exciting to see how tactfully do the oppositions perform in order to beat the 2008 winner.
It's never easy against the Royals. Halla bol!