Chris Morris, the most expensive man in the history of IPL auctions, endured a difficult moment in Rajasthan Royals' opening game of IPL 2021 as newly-appointed Sanju Samson denied a strike to the South Africa star when the team needed one big hit against the Punjab Kings. Samson, who hit 119 glorious runs, wanted to retain the strike when they needed 5 from 1 ball, leaving Morris surprised and dejected.
Cut to Thursday, it was time for redemption for Chris Morris. The all-rounder, who was bought for a whopping Rs 16.25 crore, walked into bat when the Rajasthan Royals needed 44 runs from 25 balls after having lost David Miller, who had hit a quickfire 62. The pressure was on Morris as he had only tail-enders for company in their tricky chase of 158 against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Chris Morris redeemed himself with a stunning onslaught against the best in the business as he hit 2 huge sixes of Kagiso Rabada in the 19th over and 2 more against Tom Curran in the final over as the Royals completed the chase with 2 balls to spare. Morris kept his cool and proved a point to his naysayers with an 18-ball 36 that helped the Royals open their account in IPL 2021.
Speaking after Morris's match-winning effort, captain Samson recalled the denied single from the last game, saying he wouldn't have taken that single even if he had the opportunity to play that match 100 times again.
"I always sit back and review my game, but if I got that match 100 times, I would never take that single," Samson said.
Thought it was tough from 42 for 5: Samson
Samson added that he did not believe that the Royals would be able to pull of that chase after they were reduced to 42 for 5 in the 10th over. Chris Woakes and Kagiso Rabada jolted the Roayls' top-order, removing openers Jos Buttler (2) and Manan Vohra (9) early. Samson himself failed to trouble the scorers much as he got out for 4.
David Miller rescued the innings with a 43-ball 62 and got handy support from Rahul Tewatia (17-ball 19). Jaydev Unadkat, who picked up 3 wickets in the first innings, chipped in with a 7-ball unbeaten 11.
"To be very honest, I thought that it was tough from 40 for 5. We had Miller and Morris, but I thought it was tough," Samson added.
Samson heaped praise on his pace-bowling attack, which delivered big on Thursday. Unadkat was the star for the Royals with the ball as he sent back Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane inside the powerplay after which Mustafizur Rahman got the big wicket of Marcus Stoinis for 0. Rishabh Pant's first fifty as captain in the IPL went in vain, eventually.
"It's about reading the conditions. Was a bit sticky to start with. Hard lengths and mixing up with the variations was the key. That's also our strength - three left-armers. They are slightly different from the other so we can use it in a different way," Samson added.