Ruturaj Gaikwad came down all guns blazing against Rajasthan Royals to bring up his first T20 hundred off just 60 balls at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Saturday. During the course of the innings, the 24-year-old also became the first player of the IPL 2021 season to cross the 500-run mark.
Gaikwad, whose innings was studded with 9 fours and 5 sixes, was stranded on 95 with an over left in the innings. After smashing two fours and a six off the first three balls, Ravindra Jadeja ran a single on the fourth delivery of the final over to give Gaikwad the strike. Mustafizur Rahman brought in all his experience and bowled a short delivery to leave Gaikwad with a daunting task of hitting a six off the final delivery to reach the milestone. But the opener maintained his cool and sent the final delivery flying over the mid-wicket boundary to send his teammates and fans into a frenzy.
Overall, Ruturaj Gaikwad is the fourth batsman after RR's Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler, and RCB's Devdutt Padikkal to hit a hundred in the ongoing season. The hundred is also Gaikwad's first-ever in the format. The right-hander is now the youngest (24 years 244 days) cenurion from the Yellow Army.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis gave another good start to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), stitching a 47-run partnership off 41 balls. Suresh Raina (3) departed cheaply but Gaikwad joined forces with Moeen Ali to turn the heat on Rajasthan Royals (RR) all over again. The right-hand left-hand combination of the duo partnered for 57 runs in just 6 overs to take their team's total past 100.
Later, Ravindra Jadeja scored a quick-fire 15-ball 32 not out as CSK, who have already qualified for the playoffs, finished at 189/4 - the highest total at the venue in the 14th edition of IPL.
Absolute blockbuster from Ruturaj Gaikwad! Hugeeeeee!!!
Man with future!
BCCI has to look into this! :D
What an innings he's having! WOW!
Ruturaj Gaikwad now Orange Cap Holder in this #IPL2021 .— CricketMAN2 (@man4_cricket) October 2, 2021
Gaikwad is playing IPL next level.
Meet new orange cap holder Ruturaj Gaikwad 💛 pic.twitter.com/i5p9OctFkk— DIPTI MSDIAN (@Diptiranjan_7) October 2, 2021
That's Ruturaj Gaikwad for you!
Ruturaj Gaikwad's Last 8 Innings in IPL in UAE:-— Mehul™ 🦁 (@CricMehul) October 2, 2021
All 30+ scores, Five 50+ scores in 8 Innings. #CSKvRR
He deserves it!
That's for sure!
Well! Big question..
Such a class innings