Sanju Samson became the first batsman to score a century in IPL 2017, and that hundred helped the Delhi Daredevils thrash the Rising Pune Supergiant in Match 9 on Tuesday.
Put into bat after Ajinkya Rahane, standing in for the ill Steve Smith, won the toss, the Delhi Daredevils rode on a splendid century from Samson (102, 63, 8x4, 5x6), with Chris Morris putting the finishing touches to the DD innings with a ridiculous 38 from 8 balls (4x4, 3x6).
Demoralised by that Delhi Daredevils batting display, the RPS chase never got going, as DD picked up a big win.
With no Smith, much was going to depend on RPS getting a strong start from Rahane (10, 9b) and Faf Du Plessis (8, 7b, 1x4), who replaced the skipper at No.3.
However, neither of those batsmen could put up a score of note, as RPS lost four wickets for just 52, with Ben Stokes (2, 5b), their last hope with MS Dhoni, also falling, leaving RPS on 54/5.
With only Dhoni (11, 14b, 1x6) remaining, and the equation beyond even the great finisher, the match was done and dusted as DD enjoyed a thoroughly impressive victory – interestingly, all ten RPS wickets were off catches, the first time that has happened in the history of the IPL.
The Delhi Daredevils innings was about two people.
Sanju Samson with that wonderful century.
And Chris Morris with the blitz, that completely knocked the stuffing out of RPS.
After Aditya Tare fell in the first ball of the second over, edging one through to Dhoni off the bowling of Deepak Chahar, Samson took over.
The right-hander was a man on a mission, and that mission was to show he is a much more mature batsman, and the kind of player that can make the big scores in T20 cricket, without playing stupid shots and getting out.
Samson started the innings on fire, creaming the ball through the offside off the pace bowlers to set the tone for the Delhi Daredevils in the first six overs. Sam Billings, known for his quick scoring, was more than happy to give Samson the bulk of the strike with the Kerala batsman timing the ball to perfection.
The DD innings slowed down considerably after the Powerplay overs, with Billings (24, 17b, 4x4) falling to Imran Tahir, who took over the Purple Cap with that wicket.
Rishabh Pant (31, 22b, 1x4, 2x6), coming off a brilliant knock against RCB, came in and looked in decent touch again, but there was to be no half-century this time from the left-hander, with Agarwal brilliantly running the DD batsman out with a direct hit.
It looked like the Delhi Daredevils innings was running out of steam at that point, with Samson also struggling to keep his run scoring going at a strong rate. However, all that changed when Samson decided to change gears.
Suddenly from nudging and tapping, Samson went into six-hitting mode, and that too straight back past the bowler. He made it look really easy as well and before you knew it, Samson had completed his hundred, courtesy a big one that went over the sight screen.
Samson (102, 63b, 8x4, 5x6) got out next ball to Adam Zampa, but if RPS thought they could pull DD back with that wicket, they were in for a rude awakening as DD scored 64 runs off the last three overs.
Morris walked in and started with a four over extra cover. Then came a massive six over midwicket, before another boundary came over extra cover.
Ben Stokes was given the final over to bowl and Morris showed no mercy.
After Corey Anderson gave Morris the strike with a single first ball, the South African went four, two, four, six and six to finish off the innings and RPS.
RPS vs DD IPL 2017 scorecard:
Delhi Daredevils: 205/4 in 20 overs.
RPS: 108 all out in 16.1 overs.
Result: Delhi Daredevils won by 97 runs.
Bowling: RPS: Ashok Dinda 3-0-36-0; Deepak Chahar 3-0-35-1; Ben Stokes 4-0-41-0; Imran Tahir 4-0-24-1; Adam Zampa 4-0-45-1; Rajat Bhatia 2-0-21-0.
Delhi Daredevils: Shahbaz Nadeem 4-0-23-1; Pat Cummins 3.1-0-24-2; Zaheer Khan 3-0-20-3; Chris Morris 2-0-19-1; Corey Anderson 1-0-10-0; Amit Mishra 3-0-11-3.
Fall of wickets: Delhi Daredevils: 2/1, Aditya Tare (1.1 overs); 71/2, Sam Billings (8.1 overs); 124/3, Rishabh Pant (15.2 overs); 166/4, Sanju Samson (18.2 overs).
RPS: 24/1, Ajinkya Rahane (3 overs); 34/2, Mayank Agarwal (4.5 overs); 49/3, Rahul Tripathi (5.5 overs); 52/4, Faf Du Plessis (6.4 overs); 54/5, Ben Stokes (7.5 overs); 79/6, MS Dhoni (12 overs); 94/7, Rajat Bhatia (13.1 overs); 100/8, Deepak Chahar (14.1 overs); 107/9, Adam Zampa (15.3 overs); 108/10, Ashok Dinda (16.1 overs).