Suresh Raina imposes himself

AP

Thanks to Suresh Raina, Chennai Super Kings finally found a way to beat Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.

Not satisfied with his 55-ball 98, Suresh Raina snared Rajasthan opener Rob Quiney leg before and claimed two catches to clinch Chennai a win it desperately needed. Chennai Super Kings’ defeat of the defending champion was the side’s first win over Rajasthan Royals, after three losses last year. Chasing the Super Kings’ 164 for five, Rajasthan managed just 126 in 19.3 overs.

Dimitri Mascarenhas was despatched for a massive six in the third over by Raina, who quickly stamped his intent. Chennai lost its openers — Matthew Hayden and Parthiv Patel — after Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne asked Yusuf Pathan to bowl the second over of the match. Hayden was bowled by a quick delivery before Patel top-edged to Kamran Khan at point. Pathan had removed the openers in quick time.

Raina and S. Badrinath steadied things for Chennai. Pathan failed to make an impression on Raina, who helped himself to a smooth six over long-on upfront. The left-hander then attacked indiscriminately, clobbering Munaf Patel for a six over backward point and Siddharth Trivedi for successive boundaries. He brought his 50 up with a brilliant boundary through the covers off a short delivery from Warne. Badrinath looked in good touch before Warne lured him into charging down against a slower delivery and Mahesh Rawat completed the stumping.

Raina’s batting was removed from the fall of wickets at the other end. Left-arm pace bowler Kamran Khan, who’d been heavily influential in the previous matches, was spanked for two consecutive sixes in the 18th over. Raina went down on his knee to scoop one over backward point, and immediately sent across a flat one over extra cover. A miscalculation led him to believe he had reached three figures, but the innings proved invaluable to the Super Kings. Forced to make the most of the final over, he tried to clear the ropes off Patel over backward point, but found Graeme Smith instead. Raina’s knock comprised 10 fours and five sixes. Skipper Dhoni was unbeaten on 22, making sure Raina had support.

Albie Morkel struck quickly with the ball for Chennai. Smith tried driving at a wide delivery, but found Badrinath at point. Swapnil Asnodkar had an unorthodox dismissal to his credit after knocking the bails off with his bat off Morkel. Quiney fell to a low delivery that was bowled round the wicket by Raina, and Rajasthan was in trouble.

L. Balaji, who finished with four wickets for 21 runs, removed danger man Yusuf Pathan for 20. Pathan looked to clear long-off, but Raina made sure the chance wasn’t missed. Thereafter, Rajasthan found the going tough. Ravindra Jadeja kept things going with a 33-ball 37, but his dismissal, caught by Hayden off Balaji, made it impossible for Rajasthan to stage a recovery.

Chennai Super Kings managed a win after three losses.

The scores

Chennai Super Kings 164 for five in 20 overs (S. Raina 98, S. Badrinath 29, M. S. Dhoni 22 not out, Y. Pathan two for 17, M. Patel two for 25) bt Rajasthan Royals 126 in 19.3 overs (R. Quiney 28, R. Jadeja 37, Y. Pathan 20, A. Morkel two for 21, J. Oram two for 27, L. Balaji four for 21).