Suresh Raina scored yet another half-century in the IPL © IANS (File Photo)
Suresh Raina scored yet another half-century in the IPL © IANS (File Photo)

 

By Shrikant Shankar

 

May 18, 2014

 

Suresh Raina‘s half-century has taken Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to 138 for four against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 on May 18. Raina came in early in the innings and then batted right through to the end of the innings. He remained unbeaten on 62 off 48 deliveries with six fours and one six. David Hussey gave him support with an innings of 25. But overall it was a good effort from the Bangalore bowlers. Only 24 runs came from the last four overs with no boundary scored.

 

Chennai captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat at Ranchi. David Hussey has been brought into the Chennai line-up in place of Faf du Plessis. Varun Aaron comes in for Vijay Zol for Bangalore. It is a must-win match for Bangalore as they sit in sixth position in the IPL 7 Points Table. Chennai entered the match in second spot and progress to the play-offs almost certain.

 

Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum opened the batting for Chennai. Muttiah Muralitharan began proceedings. McCullum struck a six in the first over towards long-off. That showed off the intent the Chennai opener had in mind. Mitchell Starc shared the new ball. He had only given one run off the first five deliveries. McCullum charged him and hammered one towards mid-off, but it was straight to the fielder.

 

Aaron was brought into the attack in the third over. Smith got going with a drive towards long-on for a four. Aaron then bowled a bouncer and McCullum hooked, albeit not in total control, over fine-leg for a six. McCullum then pulled a short delivery from Aaron in the fifth over towards the vacant long-on region. The ball bounced in front of the boundary and trickled over for a four.

 

But Aaron then struck twice in a matter of three deliveries. He dug one in short and McCullum went for another pull. He skied his effort and Starc took a good catch to his left at wide long-on. McCullum was out for 19 off 13 deliveries. Two deliveries later, Aaron rushed Smith with a fast short delivery. Smith tried to pull, but mishit the ball in the air and AB de Villiers took the catch at cover. Smith was out for nine off 15 deliveries.

 

Raina immediately relieved some pressure as he struck back-to-back fours in the sixth over bowled by Starc. Hussey, who was recently taken aboard at CSK, looked a little rusty. He put front foot forward and went to drive one from Muralitharan. The ball took an inside edge and went behind for a four. Chennai got to their 50 in the ninth over.

 

For a while, the Chennai batsmen had not scored a boundary. Raina pulled a back of a length delivery through deep square-leg for a four in the 11th over. That was the first boundary since the seventh over. But Chennai didn’t have to wait long for their next boundary as Raina guided the next delivery towards third-man for a four. Aaron then bowled a sharp bouncer and Raina pulled it without even looking towards fine-leg for a single.

 

Raina then pulled a short delivery from Muralitharan in front of long-leg for a four. Hussey finally broke the shackles as he hit one from Yuzvendra Chahal down the ground for a six in the 13th over. That brought up the 50-run partnership between Raina and Hussey. Raina then came down the track and lofted one over long-on for the second six in the over. Raina then deftly guided a straight delivery from Sachin Rana to wards third-man. Muralitharan inadvertently kicked it over the boundary. That got Chennai their 100.

 

But Muralitharan broke the 75-run stand as Hussey hit one straight to Starc at deep mid-wicket in the 15th over. Hussey was out for a labouring 29-ball 25. Raina then reached his half-century in the 17th over with a single. Dhoni soon departed for seven runs later in the over. Dhoni hit one from Abu Nechim towards backward-point and Chris Gayle took a brilliant catch low to his right.

 

The last four overs went Bangalore’s way as only 24 runs were scored. And to add to that, neither Raina nor Ravindra Jadeja could manage to score a boundary. In the end, Chennai only posted a total of 138  for four in their 20 overs.

 

Brief scores:

 

Chennai Super Kings 138 for 4 in 20 overs (Suresh Raina 62*, David Hussey 25; Varun Aaron 2 for 29) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore.

 

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(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)