A 129-run opening stand between openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis powered Chennai to a convincing seven-wicket win over Hyderabad in an Indian T20 League encounter at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Wednesday.
Gaikwad smashed 75 runs off just 44 balls - his highest score in the Indian T20 League, while du Plessis scored 38-ball 56 as Chennai chased down 171/3 put up by Hyderabad with nine balls to spare.
The understanding between Gaikwad and du Plessis has been one of the strengths of this Chennai side. The duo perfectly complements each other in their opening partnership.
While Faf du Plessis has scored 182 runs against pacers at a strike rate of 155.56 in the ongoing edition of the high-profile league, Ruturaj has made 77 runs against spinners at a strike rate of 157.14.
|Faf du Plessis||182||117||1||182||155.56||19||7|
|Faf du Plessis||88||75||3||29.33||117.33||9||2|
“We have got such a long batting line-up but all you need is a start in any format you play. So, myself and Ruturaj enjoyed the partnership, we complement each other really well. He’s a fantastic player, he has got a bright future ahead of him. Times the ball so beautifully,” du Plessis had said in the virtual post-match press conference after Chennai defeated Bangalore in their previous encounter.
Time and again, Gaikwad and du Plessis have just focused purely on timing and finding the gaps. They have shown that one can easily score at 10 per over even if they don’t intend to take the aerial route to score their runs.
The opening pair of Gaikwad and du Plessis has already put on two 100-run stands in the league this season.
Top 5 stands in Indian T20 League 2021
|V Kohli, D Padikkal||181*||Bangalore||Rajasthan||Mumbai||22 April 2021|
|P Shaw, S Dhawan||138||Delhi||Chennai||Mumbai||10 April 2021|
|R Gaikwad, F du Plessis||129||Chennai||Hyderabad||Delhi||28 April 2021|
|KL Rahul, M Agarwal||122||Punjab||Delhi||Mumbai||18 April 2021|
|R Gaikwad, F du Plessis||115||Chennai||Kolkata||Mumbai||21 April 2021|
With the help of their openers, Chennai registered their fifth straight victory and are now on 10 points along with Virat Kohli-led Bangalore.
Chennai will only hope their opening pair can continue their incredible run in the upcoming matches as well.
Featured photo: IPL/BCCI