Sanju Samson is one of the most talented wicketkeepers in India but has somehow not been able to find a place in the national team. He was recently picked for the T20I series against Bangladesh but did not get to play in any game in the three-match series. Speaking about his IPL form, the Kerala cricketer has consistently performed season after season. On occasion of his 25th birthday, we take a look at his best performances in the tournament.
This was the year that Samson signed for the Royals and made his debut against Kings XI Punjab. In the second match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he was promoted up the batting order to No. 3 as RR was chasing a tough target of 172. The Kerala cricketer showed his potential by smashing 63 off 41 balls, which laid the foundation for the team's victory. He also became the youngest player to score an IPL half-century, achieving the feat at a tender age of 18.
Chasing 188 runs to win against Mumbai at the Wankhede, Royals needed their batsmen to step up and young Samson did not disappoint as he scored 76 off 46 balls. After his dismissal, the lower order continued to give away their wickets as Rajasthan fell short by 8 runs.
Playing for Delhi Daredevils, Samson scored the first century of the 2017 edition against Rising Pune Supergiant in Pune. The keeper-batsman hammered a brilliant 102 runs off 63 balls helping his side to reach 205/4 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. This was also his maiden century in the Twenty20 format, which had eight beautiful boundaries and five huge sixes.
The match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed another high-scoring encounter as the Royals, on the back of Sanju Samson's 92 runs and contributions from England duo Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, posted 218 runs on board. The home side put up a good fight thanks to contributions from skipper Virat Kohli (57 runs), Mandeep Singh (47 not out) and Washington Sundar (35 runs), but could not reach the target.
With RR struggling for form, Samson batting was a big positive for the side. Playing against the best bowling lineup of the tournament, the Keralite hit 10 fours and 4 sixes on his way to a century. His batting efforts helped his side post 198 runs on board.
Samson's efforts though went in vain as SRH openers Warner and Bairstow clobbered the RR bowling attack to win the match for the side. However, the young wicketkeeper batsman's knock will surely be remembered for a long time.