In the first fixture of the IPL 2019 between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the MA Chidambaram stadium, home team's loyal Suresh Raina reached a landmark.
A match which was billed as an encounter between MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, it was Raina who hogged the headlines for his incredible feat. The left-hander became the first batsman in the history of the tournament to complete 5,000 runs.
He achieved this milestone in 177 matches at a strike rate of 138.15, which includes 35 half-centuries and one century. Prior to the opening encounter, there was a lot of debate between Raina and Kohli about who will be the first player to achieve this feat.
Raina was just 15 runs away from the mileston, while Kohli needed 52 runs. But the RCB skipper failed to make an impact with the bat as he was dismissed cheaply for just six runs. It meant that 'Chinna Thala' had a great opportunity to do achieve the milestone, and so he did in the ninth over of the the second innings. However, he could not capitalize as he was dismissed for 19.
His franchise CSK took no time in acknowledging this unique feat.
Raina has been playing for CSK ever since the inception of IPL in 2008. He was associated with CSK for eight straight seasons till the then two-time champions were banned in 2015 along with Rajasthan Royals due to a match fixing scandal. He then captained the now defunct Gujarat Lions for two seasons in 2016 and 2017 respectively. He was bought back by the 'Yellow Army' when they made their comeback last season. He had an outstanding season in 2018 when he scored 445 runs in 15 matches.