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Ruturaj Gaikwad put up an exhibition of timing and classical hitting to reach his first century in the IPL as Chennai Super Kings finished at 189/4 in 20 overs in Match 47 of IPL 2021 at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium here on Saturday. Gaikwad was well-supported by Ravindra Jadeja's blitzkrieg in the end apart from useful contributions by Faf du Plessis and Moeen Ali.
It was a fine batting effort by Chennai, feasting on Rajasthan's listless bowling. Only Rahul Tewatia and Chetan Sakariya were among the wickets as rest of the bowlers were taken for runs, resulting in 73 runs coming off the last five overs.
Put into batting first, Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis continued their rich vein of form, adding 44 runs for no loss in power-play. While Gaikwad creamed debutant Akash Singh for two fours in the opening over, du Plessis took back-to-back boundaries against Chetan Sakariya in the fifth over.
Tewatia broke the 47-run partnership in the seventh over, getting du Plessis easily stumped by keeper Sanju Samson. Tewatia had his second wicket of the match as Suresh Raina's promotion to three in his 200th match for Chennai ended with a slog-sweep going straight to deep mid-wicket.
Despite the two dismissals, Gaikwad and Moeen Ali struck boundaries and rotated strike to keep the scoreboard ticking. Ali hit a four and a six off Mayank Markande in the 13th over to get going. Gaikwad brought up his half-century in 43 balls, his second of the UAE leg of the tournament.
From there, Gaikwad accelerated, hitting Tewatia for two sixes on the trot in the 15th over. Though Tewatia had Ali stumped, it didn't slow down Gaikwad. In the next over, he took two fours and a six off Akash Singh to enter into the 80s. Though Ambati Rayudu fell cheaply, Gaikwad continued to collect boundaries with pristine timing.
Rajasthan's misery continued as Ravindra Jadeja took two fours and a six on first three balls of the final over by Rahman. Gaikwad finished off the innings by smacking a six over deep mid-wicket, taking him to his first IPL hundred.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 189/4 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 101 not out, Ravindra Jadeja 32 not out, Rahul Tewatia 3/39, Chetan Sakariya 1/31) against Rajasthan Royals