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Suresh Raina 1st man to score 5000 runs in Indian Premier League

India Today logo India Today 24-03-2019 Rohan Sen
© AP Photo

Suresh Raina on Saturday became the first batsman to complete 5000 runs in the Indian Premier League and consolidated his place at the top of the all-time list of run-scorers in the tournament.

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Raina needed just 15 runs before the start of the IPL 2019, he got to the milestone in the opening match of this season against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The moment was even more special for Raina as it came in front of a jam-packed MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai which has hosted just one IPL game in the last four years.

Last year CSK played their opening match in their own den before shifting to Pune for their home games due to the Cauvery water dispute.

RCB skipper Virat Kohli is closely following Raina on the all-time list with 4948 runs in 163 games at 38.35 which also includes four hundreds and 34 fifties. Before this match, Raina had scored 4985 runs in 176 matches at an average of 34.37 with one century and 35 half-centuries.

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Kohli and Raina have been involved in a heated race for the top spot since the 2016 season when the India captain scored a record 973 runs marking the start of a red-hot tussle for the most runs in the history of the league.

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RCB had crashed out of the league stage last season and CSK qualified for the play-offs, which gave Raina a golden chance to secure the leading run-scorer's spot and keep it for a year.

Raina, meanwhile, is the only batsman to breach the 300-run mark in all 11 seasons. He is also the most-capped cricketer in the IPL and has missed just one game for CSK in 11 years which happened last season.

Raina is among 8 batsmen with more than 4000 runs in the tournament. Kohli, Rohit Sharma (4493), Gautam Gambhir (4217), Robin Uthappa (4086), Shikhar Dhawan (4058), MS Dhoni (4016) and David Warner (4014) are the others.

The IPL this year is the last chance for Raina to perform and make his way back into the Indian team before the ICC World Cup in May. The 31-year-old fell out of favour of the BCCI selectors due to a dip in form and a string of inconsistent performances over the last two years.

Raina last played an international match for India back in July 2018 on the tour of England. The Indian World Cup team is more or less settled but the No.4 spot is still up for grabs and if Raina has a good season in the IPL, he could be the perfect choice for that spot in the playing XI.

Raina is vastly experienced having played 226 ODIs for India since his debut in 2005. He has amassed 5615 runs in one-day internationals at an average of 35.31 with five hundreds and 36 fifties. He is averaging over 45 at the No.4 position which makes his case even stronger for the World Cup.

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