Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Ruturaj Gaikwad on Saturday scored his maiden IPL ton against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in an IPL 2021 encounter in Abu Dhabi. The 22-year-old Maharashtra batsman launched five sixes and 9 fours, helping Chennai reachÂ 189/4 in 20 overs.
Gaikwad, who reached his fifty in 43 deliveries, shifted gears in middle overs, accelerating to the three-figure mark in just 60 balls. He reached the milestone with a six off Mustafizur Rahman on the last ball of the innings.Â
En route his ton, Gaikwad also got hold of the Orange Cap, surpassing KL Rahul (489 runs) on the list. Gaikwad now has 508 runs in the ongoing IPL edition at an average of 50.80.
It was skipper MS Dhoni‘s 200th game for Chennai but Gaikwad stole the limelight by becoming the ninth CSK player to score an IPL ton. He is also the youngest CSK player (24y 244d) to notch up an IPL century.
Gaikwad also became the first player to cross the 500-run mark this season. Overall, he became the seventh Chennai player to score 500+ runs in an IPL season. He joins the elusive list comprising Suresh Raina (3), Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Ambati Rayudu, and Shane Watson.
“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.Â
On his last-ball maximum, he said, “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.”
In the previous IPL edition, he had scored 204 runs in six games including three consecutive fifties in the last three league matches.Â Â Back in the 2019 auction, the Chennai outfit had secured his services at his base price of INR 20 lakh.