Chennai Super Kings v Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2013, Chennai May 2, 2013

Raina ton makes it seven in seven for Chennai


Chennai Super Kings 186 for 4 (Raina 100*, Hussey 35) beat Kings XI Punjab 171 for 6 (Marsh 73, Miller 51, Bravo 3-34) by 15 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

With 92 IPL games to his name, Suresh Raina, even more than MS Dhoni, is the tournament's most experienced campaigner. A vital part of the Chennai Super Kings line-up, retained by his franchise after the first three seasons, he's been key to several of his team's successes and, on Thursday, he smashed his first IPL century in another victory - the seventh straight one for Super Kings this year. Shaun Marsh and David Miller middled the ball superbly in the chase and brought the equation down to 19 off the final over, but Dwayne Bravo didn't let his team down.

Raina's yellow jersey had a brownish shade by the time he reached the landmark, his aggression not only confined to targeting the bowlers. If there's an Indian batsman after the Mohammad Kaif of almost a decade ago who inflicts as much damage on his clothing while running between the wickets as he does while fielding, it's Raina.

Raina's innings had its sedate phase, when it kept pace with Super Kings' start, with a run-rate of just a little over six in the first nine overs. In the unforgiving Chennai heat, with not a speck of cloud in the sky, nor any breeze in the air, there was a back-massage for Raina from one of his team-mates, his head was wrapped up in a wet towel, his partner Michael Hussey was on his knees, and both were gulping down fluids during the time-out. Albie Morkel even tweeted: "Maybe they must reconsider 4pm games in chennai. My word someone will die soon.!" The massage certainly helped re-energize Raina, as he transformed his game after having moved to 14 off 15 balls at that point.

The first ball he faced after the break, he drove David Hussey beautifully through deep cover and long-off before launching him over long-on for six. At the other end, Michael Hussey went past Chris Gayle to become the highest run-getter this season but was stumped 55 runs into the partnership. Raina lost Dhoni, run-out brilliantly by R Sathish in the 13th over, but he had made up his mind to be on the attack. He slog-swept Chawla with the turn, clipped Sathish past fine leg, and stepped up another notch after the second time-out, which was taken at the end of the 15th over.

Six seasons into the IPL, death bowling has continued to be a worry for most teams, whose Indian bowlers, especially, have struggled to contain the batsmen. Attempted yorkers, almost inevitably, end up being length balls; Raina struck Manpreet Gony imperiously over the straight boundary off two such deliveries.

Sathish was then cut and swept, Praveen Kumar was dispatched over long-on twice, the second six coming in the final over during which Raina reached his century. Through his assault, he ran superbly, though was fortunate to have just made his ground as he attempted a dive to complete a run very early in his innings, the bat popping up as he tried to slide it in. The last five overs yielded 70 runs, also thanks to Albie Morkel's cameo of 23.

Kings XI Punjab had a similar start to their chase, reaching the halfway mark at 65 for 2. But Marsh and Miller gave Super Kings a serious scare, their combined acceleration beginning, incidentally, in the 12th over from Raina that went for 19. Both cleared the boundaries comfortably during their half-centuries - they put on 95 in 52 balls - and still had an outside chance with 19 needed off six. Marsh, however, was bowled off the first ball by Bravo while trying to dispatch a full ball, and the task was beyond even Miller from there on as he faced just two more deliveries.

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • G on May 3, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    I really don't get this talk about peaking to early or late. Few commentators say that over and over again, and people now blindly follow.

    The first aim for a team is to make it to the final four (if possible hold the top two slots). Then their aim is to make it to the finals and finally winning it.

    Just because RCB and DD didn't win or make it to the final in 2011 and 2012, does not mean they were bad. It is just that the team (s) they faced during playoffs and the final played better and has nothing to do with "peaking" too early.

    If any one of the bottom placed teams were to win this year (2013), would everyone go on to say they peaked at the right time? No. It simply shows they played horribly during the first half and later worked hard to win games.

    If CSK were to lose the final or not even make it to the final this year (2013), it would simply mean that the team (s) they faced had a better day. That is all.

    So please stop with all this peaking nonsense !

  • Arunkumar on May 3, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    I could see lot of guys were referring to the fate what DD had in 2011 and RCB had in 2012.. But you guys were not understand the fact for their peaking and chocking performance.. those where the team which still rely on 2 or 3 of their players for the victory.. But CSK, u guys already witness the performance of 7 of its players peaking @ various occasions when it needs (hussey,badri,raina,dhoni,Albie,sharma,jadeja).. still there is not one man highlighting performance like (Gayle's 175 ot Viru's 95).. most of the CSK batsmen and bowlers are performing more than the others.. Providing two shots to final.. CSK will never miss those opportunity.. We are all know that they are not performing to their 100% yet.. there are still areas which need to be improved.. Imagine what will happens if they fire all their guns.. None of the IPL teams could survive.. BEWARE !!

  • Krishna on May 3, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    To me, it is pretty simple. Whichever team MSD captains, will continue to win - especially the limited over variety. Even if it is PWI, they will find themselves at the top of teh table. There are two things about him, which bring the best out of his team - and cricket is a team sport. He gets through the message that no one is indispensable. The second, he gives the feeling to the team " Don't worry, I am there'. So while each individual plays his natural game, he is also aware that if he does not perform, he will lose his place to someone else. Dhoni, for all his calm exterior and almost a zen like approach to match situations, is an extremely fierce competitor and take his job very seriously. He expects the same from the others as well. So long story short, Dhoni is the key to CSK's success - he is a natural leader. It is not a question of specialists for each situation - it is just someone raising a hand and stepping up. MSD is the GRETAEST cricketer Ihdia has ever produced.

  • Dummy4 on May 3, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    lolz....still people says csk gna outa eliminator.....dnt 4 gt d top 2 team has 2 chances n not often csk commit ur captain guy ...if u can!!!!!! bcoz peaking at dis juncture makes dem luks so dangerous.....aus did it in 2 world cups REMEMBER????

  • Boromeo on May 3, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    To all those who are whining about CSK peaking too early lie RCB in 2011 and DD in 2012 and end up losing in the final stages, you ppl have to understand few things. RCB leaned too much on Gayle and Kohli with their bowling unit was way bad at the ends. DD in the same time depended too much on Sehwag and Morkel with KP out during playoffs. But CSK has players performing in all forts. Saha, Hussey, Raina, Dhoni and Badri clicking with the Bat. Morris, Ashwin, Mohit and Bravo doing well with Ball. Badri, Raina, Jadeja, Bravo and Dhoni electric on the field. As like the then captains of DD and RCB, MSD is not complacent here. MSD clearly insists where they have to develop and how much he expects. DD after a heavy season is in bottom half of the table now. RCB after being runner up in 2011, ended up not in the eliminators in 2012. But CSK is consistent enough(even if you say its a luck in 2012) to be in the eliminators in every season. Thats why CSK nows to upgrade their game in next games

  • Senthil on May 3, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    This whole business of "peaking" is all about form, and form is very important only in the absence of class. This CSK team oozes class and calm. It does not need form to make progress, although they were challenged last year with many problems. This team may look like it's winning close games, but if those wins are flukes, there will be a fair number of close losses as well. More often than not, this team will usually do what it needs to do. Its weaknesses are far outnumbered by its strengths and versatility. They're still not at 100% though, and if they "peak" it could get harrowing for other teams.

  • DURAIRAJ on May 3, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Hats Off CSK!! Whatever teams play and however they play...At the end of the day WINNING the game is only counted. No one can say that CSK makes every IPL by LUCK...It is not LUCK, but a TEAM WORK that sails CSK throughout the tournament....!

  • Christy on May 3, 2013, 7:25 GMT

    @ Vivekaks - CSK is like DD in 2012 - Peaking 2 early & Complacency may well get them down in the Eliminator.... !!

  • Thyagarajan on May 3, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    With so many last over finishes in CSK's favour obviously means they are not unbeatable. They somehow find somebody for the critical occassion within the match. If it were Morris and Bravo with the ball bowling great final over, it was Jadeja and Dhoni with the bat scoring the required runs of the last over. Just like you have specialist for slips, point, short forward/fine leg, long on or log off, It is not about openers, 1 down etc., CSK seem to have specialist for the top overs, middle overs, slog overs and the last over.

    I feel CSK has peaked a little too soon. This can result in a lot of things including satisfaction (that we have achieved enough), over confidence and what not. Hence they may not be the same team going into the final stages of the tournament. May be, this is the time when the bench strength can be tested and bring the stars back just before the play offs so that they are fresh and hungry.

  • vas on May 3, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    What a knock by Raina? Even during the tense final over Bravo was dancing, shows he was not as tense as us, fans. Hats off to Bravo and Hussey for the purple cap and orange cap. Mohit Sharma is a good find for CSK, taking wickets early in the innings. Because of him Dhoni is choosing Albie instead Nannes which strengthens the batting. Everything is falling into place for CSK. Are they destined to win the trophy for the third time? We'll wait and see.