Despite Sanju Samson’s heroics with the bat, Rajasthan Royals lost to Delhi Capitals by 20 runs in the Indian Premier League 2024 match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Tuesday.

Samson, with six sixes and eight boundaries, was the top-scorer in the contest hitting 86 off just 46 balls. But his superlative knock went in vain as the Royals could manage only 201/8 in pursuit of 222. For the Capitals, Kuldeep Yadav finished with 2/25 in four overs. 

Abishek Porel and Jake Fraser-McGurk hit half-centuries for the Capitals as they scored 221/8. Ravichandran Ashwin was impressive with the ball for the Royals as he picked up 3/24 in four overs. 

Earlier, Samson went level with legendary Shane Warne for most matches as captain of the Rajasthan Royals when he walked out for the toss for the 56th time in the IPL. 

The Royals’ skipper won the toss and opted to field as the injured duo of Dhruv Jurel and Shimron Hetmyer made way for Shubham Dubey and Donovan Ferreira.

The Royals started on the backfoot with the Capitals racing to 59/0 in four overs. But Ashwin brought them back as he priced out big fish Fraser-McGurk for 50, as DC ended the powerplay at 78/2.

Once again Ashwin came up with a crucial breakthrough as Axar Patel was caught by Riyan Parag in the deep, and the Capitals moved to 115/3 at the halfway mark. The off-spinner’s affinity for getting left-handers out was on full display as Porel miscued to Sandeep Sharma after completing his half-century.

Yuzvendra Chahal from the other end completed 350 wickets in T20s, the first Indian to do so, as the Capitals’ skipper Rishabh Pant was caught by Trent Boult at deep square leg. The leg-spinner, with 62 scalps, also went past Shane Watson to be the Royals’ second-highest wicket-taker in the IPL.

Both Ashwin and Chahal pulled things back nicely for the Royals after the Capitals were well-placed at 142/3 at the end of 12 overs. They gave away just 22 runs picking up two wickets in the next four overs to halt the Capitals from running away with the match.

The Capitals scored 221/8 as Ashwin finished with three wickets. Sandeep picked up 1/42 in his four overs whereas Boult and Chahal also chipped in with a wicket apiece.

In reply, the Royals lost opener Yashasvi Jaiswal in the first over as he was dismissed for four. But Samson and impact substitute Jos Buttler joined hands to take the attack to the opposition as they added 63 for the second wicket in just 33 balls. 

Samson, in particular, was severe against the Capitals' pacers as he took them to all parts of the ground. However, Buttler was dismissed for 19 in the final over of the powerplay as the Royals moved to 67/2 after six overs. 

Parag joined Samson in the middle and hit three sixes to keep the Royals in the chase, requiring 129 from their final 10 overs. Meanwhile, Samson brought up his fifth fifty of IPL 2024 in style smashing Kuldeep Yadav over long on.

Samson continued in the same vein as he clobbered two sixes and a boundary off Rasikh Dar’s 13th over. Dubey, in only his second visit to the crease this year, backed up from the other end hitting a huge six and a boundary in the next over to keep the required rate in check.

Amidst the drama, Samson holed out in the deep. The skipper looked well-set for his fourth century in the IPL but unfortunately had to depart for 86, his highest score this season.

Dubey and Rovman Powell kept up the pace adding 18 off the next five balls, but the southpaw and debutant Ferreira departed in quick succession as Royals were six down and required 41 off the last three overs.

The Royals fell short as Powell was dismissed for 13 in the final over. Kuldeep, Mukesh Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed picked up two wickets each whereas Axar and Rasikh got one apiece.

Rajasthan Royals are currently second in the IPL 2024 points table with 16 points from 11 matches.

The Royals are up against Chennai Super Kings in their next game at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on May 12.

DC vs RR IPL 2024 brief scores: Delhi Capitals 221/8 (Abishek Porel 65, Jake Fraser- McGurk 50, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/24, Sandeep Sharma 1/42) beat Rajasthan Royals 201/8 (Sanju Samson 86, Riyan Parag 27, Kuldeep Yadav 2/25, Mukesh Kumar 2/30) by 20 runs. Get the full DC vs RR score here.