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Ruturaj Gaikwad becomes fastest Indian to reach 2,000 IPL runs

Mumbai (Maharashtra): Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener and skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad completed 2,000 runs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday, becoming only the fourth player from his franchise to do so.

The 27-year-old accomplished this milestone against arch-rivals the Mumbai Indians (MI) at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Playing what was perhaps his most fluent knock of the season, Gaikwad scored 69 in 40 balls. His knock was decorated with five boundaries and five majestic sixers. His runs came at a strike rate of 172.50.

In 58 IPL matches, Gaikwad has made 2,021 runs at an average of 39.62 and a strike rate of 134.91. He has scored a century and 16 fifties in 57 innings, with his best score being 101*. He is the fourth-highest run-getter in the IPL for CSK behind Faf Du Plessis (2,721 runs in 92 matches), MS Dhoni (4,547 runs in 226 matches) and Suresh Raina (4,687 runs in 176 matches).

He is the fastest Indian to reach the milestone in just 57 innings and the overall third fastest behind Chris Gayle (48 innings) and Shaun Marsh (52 innings).

Gaikwad's finest season with CSK, a franchise he has represented since his debut in 2020, was the 2021 season. In that season, he scored 635 runs in 16 matches at an average of 45.35 and a strike rate of 136.26, with a century and four fifties. He won the 'Orange Cap' for most runs and also the fifth IPL title for the 'Men in Yellow.'

This season, Gaikwad has so far scored 224 runs in six matches at an average of 44.80 and a strike rate of just over 130, with two half-centuries. His best score is 69, making him the seventh-highest run-getter this season.

Coming to the match, MI won the toss and put CSK to bat first.

After Ajinkya Rahane (5) and Rachin Ravindra (21 in 16 balls, with two fours and a six) did not make much impact, Gaikwad (69 in 40 balls, with five fours and five sixes) and Shivam Dube (66* in 38 balls, with 10 fours and two sixes) stitched a 90-run partnership. Later, MS Dhoni (20* in four balls) came during the final over and a hat-trick of sixes took CSK to 206/4 in 20 overs.

Hardik Pandya (2/43) was the pick of the bowlers for MI. Shreyas Gopal and Gerald Coetzee got a wicket each. 

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