Punjab Kings' Arshdeep Singh had a massive task of defending 12 runs in the final over against a well-set Sanju Samson and the young left-arm fast bowler held his nerve and propelled his team to a thrilling four-run victory over Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday (April 12). In an encounter where 438 runs were amassed, the 22-year-old returned with figures of 3/35.
Samson, who slammed a 119 off 63 deliveries, was at the crease till the very end but Arshdeep kept his cool and bowled a superb final over, giving away just eight runs. To add cherry on the cake, Arshdeep also dismissed Samson on the final delivery when Rajasthan needed five runs to pull off an outstanding run chase. Punjab skipper KL Rahul later said that Arshdeep is someone who enjoys bowling the pressure overs.
“I had gone to Arshdeep for crucial overs last year too. He doesn’t mind bowling the pressure overs, he seems to enjoy it. He loves being in the contest. Love throwing him the ball. He’s pretty clear with what he wants to do,” Rahul at the post-match presentation.
Arshdeep later revealed that the plan was to bowl Samson way outside off and the left-armer executed it to perfection. "The field was set, the plan was to make Samson play wider, the plan was to bowl wide yorkers to Samson and if we executed that, it would have been harder for Samson to get under," said Arshdeep during a virtual press conference.
"IPL is such a big stage and such a good league, you cannot write off any team. I do not have any special preparation, I just back myself. The support staff always tells me to back myself and keep things simple. I try to bowl what the captain wants me to, if you have bluff, then bluff the batter not the skipper."
Punjab amassed 221/6 in their first innings but Rajasthan almost pulled off a yet another miraculous chase, something that they did last season against the same opponent. Punjab captain Rahul, who himself smoked 91 off just 50 deliveries, said "a win like this brings the entire team together".
"I didn't stop believing in the team, and we knew a couple of wickets will bring us back. The game went deep only because me included, we dropped some sitters. We bowled well until about 11-12 overs. We're used to this, and it's not something new for us, but a win like this brings the team together," he said.
"We batted really well and bowled well in patches. We weren't consistent with the lengths but the bowlers will learn. A lot of talented, skilful players, and it's important that we back them. It was an amazing innings from Deepak Hooda, and that's the kind of fearless batting we want to see in the IPL. We have been tentative sometimes, and it's important for us to play fearlessly at times, so I am happy that the expectations are being understood and met."