Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad became the third batter from the franchise to score more than 600 runs in an IPL season.
The 24-year-old achieved the milestone in the Qualifier 1 match against Delhi Capitals on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, where he made 70 runs off 50 balls to build a strong base for his team to chase 173.
Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 70 against DC takes his tally to 603 in IPL 2021
His calm and composed knock fetched him five boundaries and a couple of sixes during his stay at the crease before he departed in the very first ball of the penultimate over bowled by Avesh Khan.
Gaikwad joined the ranks of current teammate Ambati Rayudu and former Australian batsman Michael Hussey to cross the 600-run mark in an IPL season.
Hussey had staggering numbers of 733 runs from 17 innings at the strike rate of 129.51 to win the orange cap in IPL 2013, while Rayudu scored 602 runs in his first IPL season for CSK in their comeback season in 2018.
Ruturaj Gaikwad has smashed four fifties and a hundred in IPL 2021 so far
Gaikwad’s classic knock carried his brilliant run in IPL 2021, having smashed his fourth fifty of the season and a marvellous hundred against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi.
CSK went on to win the match by four wickets as skipper MS Dhoni finished the game with his crackling shots in the end to secure one of the two spots in the IPL 2021 final.
CSK needed 13 runs in the final over, and DC skipper Rishabh Pant handed England pacer Tom Curran to bowl ahead of Kagiso Rabada. Curran got the wicket of his countrymen Moeen Ali, on the first ball itself, but Dhoni smashed three boundaries in a row to finish the game in his traditional style.
CSK will play their ninth IPL final in the 12 seasons they featured and will aim to grab their fourth IPL title. For Ruturaj, there will be a big opportunity in the final to leapfrog KL Rahul in the highest run-getter sheet and bag the orange cap this season.