Suresh Raina, the Gujarat Lions skipper, led from the front with a magnificent fifty off just 32 balls vs Delhi Daredevils but it all went in vain as Rishabh Pant’s 97 powered the hosts to a 7-wicket win in an IPL 2017 game at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on Thursday. This was his third fifty in this edition of the tournament and 32nd in IPL history. (DD v GL BLOG | SCORECARD)
Raina, who is the leading run-getter for Gujarat Lions in this tournament, arrived when the team lost Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith cheaply in the second over. The Gujarat Lions skipper survived twice in an hostile over from Kagiso Rabada. (IPL 2017 FULL COVERAGE)
On the first ball, he mistimed a lofted drive but it just went out of the reach of the fielder at cover. Two balls later, he was beaten for pace by a bouncer which reared up as he gloved the pull shot, only for Shreyas Iyer at slip to juggle the catch and drop it.
Having gotten the two lives, Raina decided to counter-attack and he started off by slamming pacer Pat Cummins over square leg for a boundary. However, he reserved his best for Mohammed Shami as he blasted a six and two boundaries to get going. Growing in confidence, he lofted Rabada for a straight six over long-off.
On 40, he was dropped for the second time as he flicked a full ball on the pads from Shami to mid wicket, only for Marlon Samuels to spill the catch. The left-hander notched up the landmark by pulling Samuels to deep mid wicket in the ninth over for a couple as the partnership with Dinesh Karthik went past fifty.
Raina is the leading run-getter in the history of the Indian Premier League, becoming the only batsman in the tournament’s history to score over 300 runs in every edition. He is only one of four batsmen to score over 4000 runs in the tournament.