Centurion: Suresh Raina struck a dazzling 55-ball 98 to fashion Chennai Super Kings’ impressive 38-run win over defending champions Rajasthan Royals in their Indian Premier League match on Thursday.
Riding on Raina’s blistering knock, Chennai got their campaign in the T20 event back on track as they had just one win from five matches before coming to this clash.
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The victory was also a sweet revenge for Chennai, who had lost all their matches, including final to Rajasthan in the inaugural edition of the event last year in India.
Raina single-handedly shaped the Chennai innings, taking them to a decent 164 for five after sent in to bat at the SuperSport Park.
Chennai Super Kings huddle as they wait for the third umpire’s decision during their 2009 Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket tournament against the Rajasthan Royal in Centurion. Reuters
They then restricted the defending champions to 126 for nine in 19.3 overs to register their win as Kamran Khan did not come out to bat because of injury.
The defending champions, heavily relying on Yusuf Pathan’s performance, failed to build partnerships and paid the price.
Only Ravinder Jadeja (37) put up some resistance and once Pathan (20) was dismissed their fate was sealed.
Laxmipati Balaji was most successful bowler for Chennai with his impressive 3.3-0-21-4 figures. Albie Morkel (2/21) and Jacob Oram (2/27) took two wickets apiece.
Rajasthan’s chase was far from ideal as not only they failed to score some quick runs but also lost wickets at regular intervals.
South African skipper Greame Smith’s poor form continued as the left-hander slashed a wide delivery off paceman Albie Morkel only to find S Badrinath at backward point.
Swapnil Asnodkar (10) became the second victim of Morkel when he smashed his own stumps while attempting a pull.
Australian Rob Quiney (28) and Rajasthan’s batting hero Yusuf Pathan (20) sizzled for a while and could not build on the good starts.
Failing to put up partnerships, the defending champions were tottering at 55 for three just near the half-way mark.
Pathan was his usual destructive self, hitting Raina, who had just trapped Quiney, for a mid-wicket four. But he could not bail out his team this time and became one of the victims of Balaji.
Earlier, in the Chennai innings, only Raina and S Badrinath (29) batted with resolve as other batsmen failed miserably.
Raina was dismissed in the last over of the innings while attempting to get his well-deserved first IPL century.
He shared two crucial partnerships -- 67 with Badrinath for third wicket and 71 with his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22 not out) for the fifth wicket -- before perishing in the third-man region off Munaf Patel.