Captain Steve Smith broke a game dominating 69 in Rajasthan Royal’s initial Indian Premier League game on Tuesday that produced a record-equalling 33 sixes in the Twenty20 competition.
Smith, who confronted blackout fears coming into the IPL, put on a key 121-run second-wicket partnership with Sanju Samson, who crushed 74, to manage Royals to 216 for seven and a 16-run prevail upon Chennai Super Kings in Sharjah.
South African veteran Faf du Plessis made a brave 72 off 37 balls with seven sixes yet Chennai, driven by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, finished on 200 for six in 20 overs.
Chennai were associated with another six-hitting fest against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2018 edition that likewise observed 33 sixes.
Australian Smith opened the innings for Royals, debut IPL victors in 2008, and after the loss of the first wicket it was pouring sixes with Samson hitting nine of them in his 32-ball rush.
“Absolute pleasure to bat with him. He is the world’s best batsman,” said Samson, who brought up his 50 in just 19 balls and hit nine sixes in his knock.
“And when he goes out and bats 20 overs, it becomes easy for the others coming in.”
Smith got four hits over the fence and Jofra Archer smacked four in the last over to assist Royals with getting 30 runs off South African quick Lungi Ngidi.
“They batted really well. Steve and Sanju. You have to give credit to their bowlers too,” Dhoni, who remained unbeaten on 29, said after the loss.
Smith breezed through a blackout assessment in the United Arab Emirates when he joined his IPL team subsequent to missing three one-day matches in England following a hit on the protective cap during training.
The much-postponed IPL, which was initially booked to begin in March, moved out of India due to the Covid pandemic and is being played behind closed doors.
Be that as it may, Jay Shah, secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said the well known class had the most noteworthy consistently first day of the season viewership for any sporting league over the globe when 200 million individuals tuned to watch Chennai beat Mumbai Indians on September 19.