During the 47th match of the 2021 edition of IPL, between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad scored his maiden century and also became the youngest player to score a century in IPL for CSK.
Winning the toss, Sanju Samson put CSK to bat first. The openers did a wonderful job by scoring 44 runs without the loss of a single wicket in the powerplay overs. But Faf Du Plessis lost his wicket in the very next over of the powerplay. Suresh Raina who came to bat at no.3, was dismissed cheaply by Rahul Tewatia. Raina’s poor form with the bat continues.
Inspite of losing wickets at one end, Gaikwad held his nerves. He went on to score a 57-run partnership along with Moeen Ali. Moeen Ali was dismissed by Rahul Tewatia after scoring 21 off 17 deliveries.
But the 22-year-old Maharashtra batsmen shifted his gears in the middle overs and accelerated to the three-figure mark in just 60 balls. Gaikwad scored his maiden century in the IPL off 60 balls which comprised of 9 fours and 5 sixes at a strike rate of 168.33 against RR at Abu Dhabi. With this century, Gaikwad overtook PBKS skipper KL Rahul in the IPL 2021 Orange cap list. Gaikwad also became the first player to score 500+ runs in the IPL.
Gaikwad had a slow start to his innings. He scored his first 29 runs in 30 deliveries. The young opener took his time on the pitch. Gaikwad played some delightful inside-out shots against the spinners of the Royals and took the pacers to the cleaners. Gaikwad also managed to hit a massive 103m six.
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Gaikwad reached the three-figure milestone by hitting a last ball six off Mustafizur Rahman’s delivery. Gaikwad has now scored 508 runs in the ongoing edition of IPL at a stunning average of 50.80.
CSK bought Ruturaj in the 2019 IPL auctions at his base price of INR 20 lakhs. Ruturaj Gaikwad first came into light with his late season heroics for CSK in IPL 2020. He scored 204 runs in 6 games for CSK last season. He also scored three consecutive fifties in the last three games of the season.
“The wicket was holding up a bit initially, they started off well in the powerplay. My plan was to bat till the 13th or 14th over, so that I could capitalize on it later. I’m just looking to time the ball and maintain my shape. At the end of the day the team score matters,” he said during the innings break.
On his last-ball maximum, he added, “I had timed that ball well and it was the shorter boundary, so I knew it was going to be a six. We need to bowl well and execute our plans.”
CSK managed to score 189/4 at the completion of 20 overs.