IPL 2021: Brian Lara opines on Sanju Samson's decision to refuse a single against PBKS

The incident took place on the penultimate ball of the 20th over.

Sanju Samson and Brian Lara
Sanju Samson and Brian Lara. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI and Twitter)

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Sanju Samson started his captaincy journey for Rajasthan Royals on a mixed note. While he became the first-ever IPL captain to score a century on captaincy debut, his effort was not enough for RR to cross the finishing line against Punjab Kings on Monday. In the high-scoring affair at the Wankhede Stadium, RR lost the game by just 4 runs while chasing an improbable total of 222.

Asked to bat first, PBKS rode on the fifties from KL Rahul (91) and Deepak Hooda (64) to post an imposing total of 221 for 6. In reply, RR finished their innings on 217 for 7. The man responsible for RR’s brilliant fight was their skipper Samson. While he lost partners at regular intervals, he remained firm at his end.

But in the end, his heroic effort of 119 runs went in vain. The knock came off 63 balls and was laced with 12 fours and 7 sixes. Samson, however, is in the news not only for his century but also for his decision to refuse a single on the penultimate delivery of the match. RR needed 5 runs from the last two balls and Samson decided against switching ends with Chris Morris after hitting the ball towards deep extra cover.

The decision, however, did not yield the desired result as Sanju Samson could not hit the winning shot on the last ball. He could only offer a catch to Deepak Hooda at long-off. Samson’s decision of not taking the run has divided the cricketing fraternity into two halves. While some are criticising him for the same, few believe he was right in keeping the strike.

It was the right decision, says Brian Lara

Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara has also weighed in on the debate over Sanju Samson’s decision. The batting legend believes that the RR skipper had done the right thing by refusing the single. Lara also stated that taking a double to retain the strike would have proved wrong too for the RR star.

“I think it was the right decision. I think if anybody had to hit a boundary, it had to be Sanju Samson. If he had gone back for the 2nd run, there was an opportunity to get him run-out. I think he did the right thing. No doubts about it in my mind. Tremendous innings. I would not point fingers at him for not taking that single in the last over,” Lara told Star Sports.