Sanju Samson produced a brilliant display of fielding which wowed the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui in the final India vs New Zealand clash. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Sanju Samson has not had much to cheer with the bat in the games against New Zealand at Hamilton and Bay Oval. In the first match, after hitting a six, he was dismissed for 8 while at Bay Oval, he fell cheaply yet again as he fell to Scott Kuggleijn for 2. India managed to reach 163/3 in 20 overs with Rohit Sharma retiring hurt on 60. India responded with the quick wickets of Colin Munro and Martin Guptill as Washington Sundar and Jasprit Bumrahy struck. Tom Bruce was run-out for 0 but Tim Seifert and Ross Taylor strung a crucial partnership. Both Taylor and Seifert were looking to take the attack to the Indian bowling and Taylor was going aftr Shardul Thakur. After hitting a boundary, Taylor geared up to face the next ball from Thakur.
Taylor mauled a length ball on the pads to deep midwicket and it looked like the ball was sailing over the ropes for a six. That was when Samson decided to unleash a moment of brilliance. The ball was going over the ropes and Samson dived to take the catch with both hands. However, he was going over the ropes and he released the ball mid-air. The ball went to the outfield and Samson had saved four runs out of six thanks to his brilliant fielding.
The move to let Samson open the batting with KL Rahul is a welcome boost to a career that has not taken off. Samson has been considered one of the most unluckiest cricketers in the Indian cricket team. His first T20I was in 2015 against Zimbabwe and he did not represent India for at least five years. In the series against Bangladesh, South Africa and West Indies, Samson was benched but he got his chance in the final game against Sri Lanka in Pune. Samson got going with a six but was cleaned up by a googly next ball as he failed to capitalise on his second coming. However, the game in Wellington represents a golden opportunity for Samson to do well. Rohit Sharma was the star in Hamilton as he blasted 65 and hit two sixes in the final two balls of the Super Over to help India win their first-ever T20I series in New Zealand. Kane Williamson had played a knock which defied logic as New Zealand looked set to keep the series alive.
He blasted sixes off Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja while he thwarted Jasprit Bumrah, the world's best death bowler with three boundaries. Williamson raced to 95 and New Zealand needed nine runs off the last over to be bowled by Mohammed Shami. Ross Taylor hit a six and then took a single as the equation boiled down to two runs off three balls. The game was up. But, Shami had other ideas. Rather than bowling full, Shami resorted to the short ball tactic.
"I think Mohammed Shami's last over was crucial, and actually that got us the victory. Not my two sixes. It was Shami's over where we defended nine runs. It's not easy with the dew. The wicket settling in nicely and two set batsmen out there as well... One batsman was batting on 95 and their most experienced player was at the other end. Hats off to Shami to bowl that over and get us back into the game and into the Super Over. The wicket settling in nicely and two set batsmen out there as well... One batsman was batting on 95 and their most experienced player was at the other end. Hats off to Shami to bowl that over and get us back into the game and into the Super Over," Rohit said.