Pune: Delhi Daredevils put their IPL campaign on track with a resounding 97-run win over the hapless Rising Pune Supergiant, powered mainly by Sanju Samson's maiden IPL century and some disciplined bowling.
The Daredevils posted a massive 205/4 in their 20 overs with Samson playing the protagonist with a 63-ball knock of 102. Chris Morris played a breathtaking cameo of 38 runs off just 9 deliveries to give finishing touches to the innings.
Pune needed a solid start but they were never in the chase as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Zaheer Khan led from the front with the ball as he sent back the dangerous Ajinkya Rahane (10) in the third over of the match. The wily left-arm paceman then removed the other Pune opener, Mayank Agarwal (20), in his second over as the hosts slumped to 38/2.
Ben Stokes' miserable outing was completed after Pat Cummins sent the allrounder back for just 2 runs. The old joint of Rajat Bhatia and MS Dhoni tried to revive Pune's fortunes with a few lusty blows but once Dhoni was dismissed for 11 runs by Amit Mishra, it was curtains for the Pune team.
Zaheer Khan picked up another wicket to make it a three-wicket haul for himself, as Pune were bowled out for a paltry 108 in 16.1 overs.
Earlier, the Delhi Daredevils were off to a poor start as opener Aditya Tare was dismissed for a duck by Deepak Chahar in the second over of the innings. Sanju Samson came out into the middle and he along with Sam Billings put the Daredevils' innings back on track.
Samson looked to attack the bowling from the word go as he hit four boundaries, two each of Deepak Chahar and Ashok Dinda. Sam Billings also opened up, getting a few crisp hits going as Delhi ended the fifth over at a healthy 47/1.
Chahar bowled the last powerplay over and it was Billings' turn to take the attack to the home side. The Englishman hitting three consecutive boundaries as Delhi ended the powerplay with 62 runs on the board.
Imran Tahir got the important breakthrough, Billings paying with his wicket for poor shot selection, as the opener was castled for 24, Delhi at that point of time were on 71/2.
Rishabh Pant was run out for 31 after a brilliant direct hit by Mayank Agarwal, and the next man in was the Kiwi power-hitter Corey Anderson, drafted into the side in place of Carlos Brathwaite.
Even as everyone expected Anderson to get the big shots out, it was Sanju Samson who provided the much needed blitz for Delhi as he changed gears swiftly. The Delhi batsman hitting the wayward Dinda for 19 in the 18th over. He then brought up his century off just 62 deliveries with a massive six off Adam Zampa.
The leg-spinner though would get his revenge on the next delivery as he clean bowled Samson for 102 as Delhi were now on 166/4.
Chris Morris came out to bat next and he ensured Zampa will get nightmares about his over as he hit the Australian for two boundaries and a huge six, as the Daredevils piled up 22 runs off the penultimate over.
Ben Stokes was given the responsibility of bowling the last over, and even though there was no Carlos Brathwaite in the Delhi line-up, Chris Morris ensured Stokes would be reminded of the 2016 ICC WT20 fiasco as the South African launched an onslaught hitting two boundaries and two massive sixes off the Englishman to end with a superb cameo of 38 runs off 9 deliveries.
Stokes also leaking 22 as the Daredevils scored 44 off the last two overs to finish with a mammoth 205/4 in their 20 overs.