Ajinkya Rahane Slams Century After Handing Over Reins To Steve Smith
Ajinkya Rahane reached the three-figure mark after seven years in the Indian Premier League (IPL)
Ajinkya Rahane rose up against the odds to notch up his second Indian Premier League (IPL) century, maiden in the 12th edition of the lucrative tournament. The former Rajasthan Royals skipper reached the milestone in 58 balls and a match after handing over the reins to Steve Smith. Rahane reached the three-figure mark in the IPL after seven years banking on 11 boundaries and three hits over the fence which also ensured Rajasthan Royals post a challenging total against the visiting Delhi Capitals.
Rahane remained unbeaten on 105, registering his best-ever IPL score. He was the sixth to score a century in the IPL 2019 after David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and his young teammate Sanju Samson.
Rahane powered Rajasthan Royals, who are in desperate need of a win, with his ton and was well supported by skipper Steve Smith's half-century.
Asked to bat, Rahane spearheaded Rajasthan Royals' innings after getting a life on 16, the culprit being Ishant Sharma, who dropped a sitter at short fine-leg. The drop hurt the visitors, but Delhi did well to prevent RR from going past 200.
Entering the game with over 650 runs against Delhi in the league, Rahane chose his favourite opponents to find form, and when he walked back to the dressing room, he had over 750 to his name.
To start with, Rahane drove Ishant through a crowded off-side field for a boundary, a shot that had his characteristic elegance written all over it.
Stripped of captaincy last week following a string of poor results, the 30-year-old went into attack mode and smashed Axar Patel for a six and a four at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, which had a dash of pink.
Seeing the flight early, Rahane danced down the crowd to hoist's Axar ball over him and into the sightscreen. Unfazed by the sight of pacer Kagiso Rabada steaming in, he smoked the South African's short of a length delivery down the ground for another maximum.
He reached his fifty by dispatching Chris Morris over the mid-wicket for a four and celebrated it with fist pumps. A flurry of boundaries followed as Rahane galloped along to bring up his second IPL hundred.
He raised his bat to acknowledge the applause from the crowd and his dugout that was as relieved as the batsman himself.
(With PTI inputs)