By Anurag Dey, Kolkata, May 20 IANS | 2 months ago

Riding on an enterprising half century by Suresh Raina, Chennai Super Kings posted a challenging 154/4 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here Tuesday.


After starting off cautiously, Raina (65; 52b, 3x4, 5x6), played at his enterprising best and stitched two crucial half-century partnerships - first with Brendon McCullum, and then with F. du Plesis - to enable CSK set KKR an asking rate of 7.75 that looks challenging score on a slow turning wicket of the Eden.

Unbeaten cameos by by skipper M.S. Dhoni (21;15b, 1x4, 1x6) and Ravindra Jadeja (9; 4b, 1x6) took CSK past 150.

Opting to field first, Knights' skipper Gambhir's decision to play Aussie pacer Pat Cummins instead of regular pacer Morne Morkel paid immediate dividends when the lanky pacer knocked down the stumps of the dangerous Dwayne Smith 5 (6b; 1x4) with a beauty of a delivery in his very first over.

Smith's fall brought in Raina, who mixed caution with aggression alongside Brendon McCullum as Chennai moved to 35/1 at the end of the sixth over.

Gambhir rotated his bowlers in search of further inroads but the two batsmen played stoically, hitting the occasional boundaries to take their team past the 50 run mark in the eighth over.

The Super Kings' hopes of building on the solid foundation, received a jolt when McCullum (28; 24b, 1x4, 2x6) skied a Sunil Narine delivery to be smartly caught by Surya Kumar Yadav running in from long-off.

The dashing McCullum, who hit two sixes off one Cummins' over, looked threatening but the wily Narine struck gold to dash his hopes of any further heroics.

The in-form Raina though continued unfazed as he hit leggie Piyush Chawla for two consecutive sixes and a four to score yet another half century for the Chennai outfit.

The visitors cruised past 100 in the 15th over, but the 62-run third wicket partnership was broken when du Plessis (23; 20b, 2x4) was run out by Chawla in the 17th over with the score on 122/3.

Soon after, Raina holed out in the deep trying to hit Chawla out of the park.

Narine A(1/24) was at his economic best for the Knights while Chawla (1/42) and Cummins 1/29 were the other wicket takers.

(Posted on 21-05-2014)