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IPL 2023: Bought for Rs 50 lakh, CSK’s Ajinkya Rahane slams fastest fifty of the season vs Mumbai Indians

Mumbai : Considered by many as a Test batsman and not fit for the slam-bang cricket that rules the Indian Premier League (IPL), Ajinkya Rahane on Saturday slammed the fastest half-century of the 16th edition of the tournament at the Wankhede Stadium, here.

The 34-year-old Rahane, playing his first match for Chennai Super Kings, slammed the fifty (52) off 19 deliveries in an IPL 2023 encounter against Mumbai Indians, proving that there was still a lot of bite left in the seasoned player, even though CSK roped him at his base price of Rs 50 lakh in the mini-auction while players with 1/10th of his experience and skills bagged contracts worth crores.

Rahane, who has played for Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, Rising Pune Supergiants, Delhi Capitals, and Kolkata Knight Riders before joining CSK this season, struck six boundaries and one six after coming into the squad after England Test captain Ben Stokes pulled out with an injury.

Rahane, who came in after CSK had lost Devon Conway with only 1 run on the board, completed his half-century with two back-to-back boundaries off seasoned leg-break bowler Piyush Chawla in the sixth over. This was his first fifty in the IPL since 2020.

However, this is not the fastest-ever half-century in IPL history as that record is shared by KL Rahul and Pat Cummins, both of whom reached the milestone off just 14 deliveries. Rahul did that for Punjab Kings against Delhi Capitals in 2018 and Cummins for KKR against Mumbai Indians in 2022.

Rahane’s knock comes way down the list of fastest half-centuries in IPL history but was still quite pleasing for the capacity crowd in Wankhede as the spectators were happy to see local boy Rahane, who represents Mumbai in Ranji Trophy, come good even though it was against the home team Mumbai Indians. The CSK component of the Wankhede crowd was expectedly ecstatic as the team has found a reliable batter in the middle order.

The experienced campaigner was eventually out for 61 off 27 deliveries (7×4, 3×6), caught by Suryakumar Yadav off Chawla, putting CSK on course to victory after sharing an 81-run partnership with Gaikwad.

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