Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson lit up Hyderabad with his blistering knock and scored his second Indian Premier League century and the first of the 12th edition of the cash-rich league. The Trivandrum born batsman unleashed his prowess during Match 8 of the IPL between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals as his unbeaten ton guided Rajasthan to put up a competitive total of 198/2 in 20 overs.
It took Samson 54 balls to slam his second ton in the league which included 10 fours and 4 sixes.
Along with Samson, it was Rajasthan skipper Ajinkay Rahane who also surprisingly went big against SRH as he scored a 49-ball 70. The bowlers weren't spared by these two batsmen with Bhuvneshwar Kumar going the most expensive as he leaked 55 runs without taking a wicket.
Rajasthan's decision to bat first didn't go according to plan, at least, in the powerplay as the visitors struggled against Sunrisers' disciplined bowling to garner just 35 runs in the first six overs.
After Buttler's dismissal, skipper Rahane was joined at the crease by Samson and the duo played cautiously without taking any undue risk to take Rajasthan forward.
While Rahane played the anchor's role, Samson opened up his arms soon and smashed two sixes in consecutive overs of Shabaz Nadeem and Siddharth Kaul to give some momentum to Rajasthan's innings.
Rahane soon joined his junior colleague and clobbered Nadeem straight over his head as Rajasthan reached 75 for one at the halfway stage.
After a slow start, Rahane stepped on the accelerator and welcomed Vijay Shankar with six over deep square leg boundary.
Both Rahane and Samson paced their innings to perfection, as after playing cautiously initially, they broke their shackles when needed and notched up the team's 100 in 11.5 overs.
Rahane registered his first fifty of the ongoing IPL in 38 balls while Samson brought up his half-century in 34 deliveries as the duo raised 100-run stand for the second wicket in 65 balls.
Rahane finally departed in the 16th over bowled by Nadeem, holed out by Manish Pandey at long-on as he went for a big shot. He struck four boundaries and three sixes during his knock.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar's torrid time at the death overs continued. If it was Andre Russell in the last match, it was Samson Friday as the young Kerala batsman too the senior pacer to cleaners, hitting him for four boundaries and one six to pick up 24 runs from the 18th over.
As if that was not enough, Bhuvneshwar witnessed yet another forgettable day as he leaked 21 runs in the last over.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Playing XI: Kane Williamson (C), David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul.