The wait for Sanju Samson for a three-figure score for India was finally over as the wicketkeeper batter slammed his maiden century in the series decider against South Africa in Paarl on Thursday, December 21. Samson came in to bat at No. 3 in the third ODI, his preferred batting position. Samson took his time initially before getting his eyes in. Samson got the luck on his way and made the most of it as he not only help India get out of a tricky situation when India had lost three wickets including skipper KL Rahul but also guided them to a strong score on the board.
Samson became only the eighth Indian batter to score a century against South Africa in South Africa. It wasn’t a typical Samson innings, especially since India had lost skipper Rahul by the 19th over, he had to curb his natural instincts and play out a few overs. Once both him and Tilak had their eyes in, they started smashing the boundaries and rotated the strike constantly. The duo helped India get to the 200 mark first and once that was done, they just kept punishing the South African bowlers.
It helped that Tilak Varma, who also had a very slow start (7 off 33), recovered from it and both complimented each other in a 116-run partnership. If either of them, Samson in particular, had gotten out trying to play fast at that point, India could have been skilled out cheaply as it happened in the second ODI in Gqeberha. Samson brought his century off just
Tilak also smashed his maiden ODI fifty before Rinku Singh the finisher took over and helped India breach the 280 mark. Rinku scored 38 off 27
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