Even though his dream of winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) title ended once again with a heartbreaking 14-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday (May 25), Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) skipper KL Rahul reached a unique batting milestone during his 58-ball 79-run innings against the Faf du Plessis-led side at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The 30-year-old became the first cricketer in the cash-rich league's history to score 600 plus runs in four different seasons. In the 15 matches of this year's edition of the IPL, the right-handed opening batter has scored 616 runs at an average of 51.33 and a strike rate of 135.38. He scored back-to-back hundreds against five-time winners Mumbai Indians and crossed the fifty-run mark on four occasions.
Before this year's edition, the top-order batter from Bengaluru had scored 626 runs in 13 matches of the 2021 edition, 670 runs in 14 matches of the 2020 season and 659 runs in the 2018 edition of the world's richest franchise cricket league.
KL, who is the second-highest run-getter in this season of the league up till now, finished as the third-highest run scorer in the 2018 and 2021 seasons, the second highest in 2019 and won the Orange Cap in the 2020 season, when the tournament was played in the United Arab Emirates.
Besides four 600+ seasons, KL scored 593 runs in the 2019 edition. West Indies T20 batting legend Chris Gayle and star Australian opening batter David Warner have scored more than 600 runs in the IPL on three different occasions and are now second on the list.
Both these left-handed batters have won the Orange Cap on two different occasions and are among the top 10 run-getters in the history of the league.
The 42-year-old Gayle crossed the 600 run mark in three consecutive years (2011-2013) while he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore side. On the other hand, David Warner also achieved the feat in three consecutive seasons from 2016 to 2019 as the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain.