I missed connecting two shots, but I am satisfied with my contribution: Sanju Samson
'We always play to take our team over the line,' said Samson.
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Sanju Samson, India's wicketkeeper-batter, produced one of the best innings of his international career on Thursday at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow against South Africa, scoring an unbeaten 86 off 63 deliveries. However, the Shikhar Dhawan-led second-string Indian side was unable to secure a win in the match.
Samson started off slow, and played second fiddle to Shreyas Iyer when they build a partnership. But Iyer’s dismissal unleashed the best of Samson as he punished the Proteas bowlers thereon. When India required 30 runs in the final over, the right-handed hitter kept the home team's spirits high and hit one six and two fours off the first three deliveries.
But India’s hopes crashed when Samson missed hitting the fourth ball of the over. Nevertheless, Sanju Samson notched up the best ODI score of his career and emerged as a hero even though India lost the game. He amassed 86* runs off 63 deliveries, including nine fours and three sixes, but India fell short of just nine runs. Speaking of his knock during the post-match press conference, Samson said:
“It is always nice to spend some time in the middle and we always play to take our team over the line. I missed connecting two shots, next time I will work even harder. But I am satisfied with my contribution. Their bowlers were going about things nicely, Tabraiz Shamsi was a little expensive today so we felt we can target them.”
I was taking the game deep, that was the plan: Samson
Tabraiz Shamsi was the pick of the day as he went on to concede 89 runs in his eight-over spell, picking up just one wicket, that of Ruturaj Gaikwad, in the process. The batters took a toll on him throughout the game, and hit the big shots during his spell to get India’s innings going. Samson, for one, was the batter who bagged most runs off Shamsi’s overs. Speaking of which, he added:
“We knew he would bowl the last over, I knew if I had to get 24 runs in the final over, I can hit four sixes. I was taking the game deep, the plan was this only and the batters responded nicely. We have some space to improve but we also need to look at the batters we are bowling to. I think David Miller is the best finisher in the world at the moment, bowling against him on this ground was very challenging.”
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