IPL: Raina’s breezy half century powers Chennai to 169/5 vs Mumbai

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Pune, April 28 (IANS) Riding on Suresh Raina’s flashy half century, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) posted a tricky 169/5 against Mumbai Indians (MI) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, here on Saturday.

Raina blasted a 47-ball unbeaten 75, laced with six fours and four sixes, and more importantly was involved in a 71-run partnership with in-form Ambati Rayudu (46 runs off 35 balls), and another 46 runs with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26 off 21) to propel the yellow brigade to a healthy total.

Put in to bat, Chennai started the proceedings on a shaky note, losing opener Shane Watson (12) in the fifth over with the scorecard reading 26 runs.

Watson’s top edge was easily caught by Mayank Markande at square leg off the left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya delivery.

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Raina then walked into the middle and played the perfect second fiddle to in-form Rayudu, taking Chennai close to the 100-run mark.

Just when the duo looked settled, Krunal struck again to break the partnership in the 12th over as a miscued shot from Rayudu landed safely in the hands of Ben Cutting’s at deep midwicket.

Rayudu 35-ball knock contained a couple of boundaries and four sixes.

His dismissal saw Dhoni joining Raina and some fireworks by the Chennai skipper saw the addition of another 46 runs in the next 5.5 overs.

Meanwhile, Raina continued to keep the scorecard moving and brought up his fifty in the 17th over.

Mumbai pacer Mitchell McClenaghan ended Dhoni’s innings in the 18th over with Chennai’s score reading 143/3. The Ranchi stumper consumed 21 balls and struck three boundaries and a six.

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Dhoni also reached another milestone in Saturday’s clash as he became the first skipper to lead any side 150 times in the IPL.

McClenaghan once again jolted the hosts by packing Dwayne Bravo for a duck. The hosts faultered a bit in the final moments of their innings as Sam Billings too, departed after scoring just three off five balls.

Raina, however, ensured that he batted out the innings, and finished off in style by clobbering Hardik Pandya for a six over midwicket to take the home team to a healthy score.

For Mumbai, McClenaghan and Krunal were the pick of the bowlers picking two wickets each, while Hardik bagged one.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 169/5 (Suresh Raina 75 not out; Ambati Rayudu 46; Mitchell McClenaghan 2/26) vs Mumbai Indians.

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–IANS

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