Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batter Ruturaj Gaikwad became only the third batter in the franchise’s history to score 600 runs in a season of the Indian Premier League as the three-time champions booked their place in the IPL 2021 final beating Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 on Sunday.
Gaikwad smashed 50-ball 7, which included 5 fours and a six, as CSK chased down the total of 173 against DC with 4 wickets in hand and two balls to spare. Robin Uthappa (63 off 44 balls) and MS Dhoni (18 not out off six balls) also played crucial knocks.
Gaikwad’s 70 helped him cross the 600-run mark in IPL 2021, making him the second batter after Punjab Kings captain KL Rahul to achieve the feat this season. Michael Hussey (733 runs in 2013) and Ambati Rayudu (602 runs in 2018) are the only other two batters who have scored 600 runs in a season for CSK.
KL Rahul currently holds the Orange Cap with 626 runs but will not be able to add this tally as PBKS will not play any more games this season. Gaikwad is second with 603 run on the list and will get to bat one final time when CSK play their 9th IPL final on October 15.
In third it is DC’s Shikhar Dhawan with 551 runs, CSK’s Faf du Plessis with 547 runs and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Glenn Maxwell with 498 runs, make up the top five.
“Just go through normal routines whatever you have been following throughout the tournament and just try and stay neutral. Each and every game you start from 0, so it’s important to start again and start fresh and be up for a challenge whatever it is,” Gaikwad said after the match.
“I plan for 2-3 overs, think of who is likely to bowl and who I can target, big-short boundary, who I can target better. You have to be crystal clear, go through the process, take one over at a time and ensure that the required rate doesn’t go up too much and take it deep,” he added.
There was another record as Prithvi Shaw scored the first half-century for DC in the second leg of IPL 2021. Shaw hit 60 as soon after Rishabh Pant scored 51 not out, DC’s second half-century in UAE this season.
Delhi will take on the winner of Qualifier 2 between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator on October 13.