With five needed off the last ball in a chase of 215, Samad was caught at long-off off Sharma’s bowling. The bowler even began to celebrate. However, replays showed he had overstepped. Samad then launched the free hit over the ropes to pull off an unbelievable win for his team.
Batting first, RR put up 214/2 on the board. Yashasvi Jaiswal scored 35 off 18 before perishing to Marco Jansen. Jos Buttler and skipper Sanju Samson then added 138 for the second wicket. Buttler smashed 95 off 59 balls, with the aid of 10 fours and four sixes. On the other hand, Samson remained unbeaten on 66 off 38, hitting four fours and five sixes.
Buttler missed out on an IPL hundred as he was trapped lbw by Bhuvneshwar Kumar with an attempted yorker.
In the chase, SRH got good contributions from all around. Abhishek Sharma top-scored with 55 off 34 balls, while impact player Anmolpreet Singh contributed 33 off 25. The opening stand was worth 51 runs in 5.5 overs. Rahul Tripathi 47 off 29 and Heinrich Klaasen (26 off 12) also chipped in this time. However, it was Glenn Phillips who was the game changer.
He slammed three sixes and a four in his seven-ball 25 to turn the contest on its head. Samad then did the star turn in the last over against Sharma, who went from hero to villain in a matter of minutes.
Reflecting on the much-needed win, SRH skipper Aiden Markram said, “Emotions turned quite quickly, nice for us to get over the line. Chasing 215 isn't easy, and guys contributed all along to chase a big target. We knew in a quick outfield like this we'll score more than expected, but we had to be aggressive.”
He added, “Abhishek started up off, and then Tripathi gave him company. Then those cameos from Phillips and Klaasy.”
On Samad's finishing skills, Markram commented, “I think you got to train it, and put yourself under pressure. You are playing high risk cricket, so that's where technique comes in.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent