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Suresh Raina reigns in Super Kings’ win
Posted on: 01-05-2009 , 04:: | DY365 Bureau

Rajasthan Royals in their Indian (IPL) match here on Thursday.

Riding on Raina’s blistering knock, Chennai got their campaign in the IPL event back on track as they had just one win from five matches before coming to this clash.

The victory was also a sweet revenge for the Super Kings, who had lost all their matches, including the final to the Rajasthan side in the inaugural edition of the event last year in India.

Raina single-handedly shaped the Chennai side’s innings, taking them to a decent 164 for five after being sent in to bat at the SuperSport Park.

They then restricted the defending champions to 126 for nine in 19.3 overs 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 Ravindra Jadeja (37) put up some resistance and once Pathan (20) was dismissed their fate was sealed.

Laxmipathy Balaji was the most successful bowler for the Super Kings scalping four wickets for 21 runs. Albie Morkel (two for 21) and Jacob Oram (two for 27) took two wickets apiece.

The Rajasthan Royals’ chase was far from ideal as not only they failed to score some quick runs but also lost wickets at regular intervals.

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 Pathan (20) sizzled for a while, but 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 Super Kings’ innings, only Raina and 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 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22 not out) for the fifth wicket — before perishing in the third-man region off Munaf Patel. But by that time he had lifted his side to a competitive total with his incredible innings, bejewelled with 10 fours and five sixes.

Raina revived his side after their run-rate had suffered severely after the strategy break.

Pathan (two for 17) did a nice job with the ball for the Rajasthan Royals. He sent back both the opponent openers — Matthew Hayden (0) and Parthiv Patel (3) — in his first two overs.

But Raina and Badrinath batted superbly to neutralise the double blow as they did not let it affect their run-rate and kept the scoreboard ticking.

Raina hoicked Dimitri Marcarenhas for a massive six over the mid-wicket and then lofted Pathan for a six over mid-off.

Badrinath, playing his part in the recovery process, put on display some fluent shots — the cover drives and cuts.

However, two early blows immediately after the strategic time out pegged back the Chennai side.

Skipper Shane Warne broke the partnership when he had Badrinath stumped, beating him in the air in the second over after the break.

Warne gave away just 12 runs from his last three overs, playing a big part in slowing down the Super Kings and it was not until the 18th over that they broke the shackles, scoring 24 runs.


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