Talent was never a question when it came to Delhi Daredevils batsman Sanju Samson. But all doubts over his temperament was put to rest at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. Samson hit his maiden IPL century off just 62 balls as Delhi Daredevils registered their first win of the season, beating Rising Pune Supergiant by 97 runs.
Coming in to bat at the fall of Aditya Tare’s wicket in the second over, Samson started with a flurry of drives off Deepak Chahar and followed it up with back-to-back boundaries against Ashok Dinda in the very next over. By the end of the powerplay, Samson was comfortably batting on 35 off 19 balls with six boundaries. More importantly, he had given DD their best starts in a long time as they finished the powerplay on 62/1.
Samson lost Sam Billings in the 9th over, but the batsman kept picking the singles, letting Rishabh Pant hit the boundaries. Even though Samson brought up his 50 only in the 14th over off 41 balls, his slowest in the IPL, it was a well-calculated innings as he let Pant do the hitting and he focused on rotating the strike.
But having reached his first 50 in 16 innings across T20s, Samson put the foot on the pedal. Even though Pant was dismissed soon after for a well-made 31, Samson kept attacking the listless Pune bowlers.
Samson took special liking for Dinda in the 18th over of the innings as he sent the bowler first for a six, then a two, a dot, another six, a four and a single to round up the over. Dinda gave away 19 off that over. And in the next one, Samson reached his hundred by sending Adam Zampa to the long-off stand. It took him just 19 balls to reach his second fifty.
Even though he was dismissed of the very next ball, the platform had been set for a late onslaught from Chris Morris that took DD past the 200-run mark.