Suresh Raina's 62-ball 109 helped Chennai Super Kings overturn Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets in the Champions League Twenty20 final played in Bangalore on Saturday.
MS Dhoni, Chennai's captain, put Kolkata in to bat first after he won the toss and Gautam Gambhir, his opposite number, got his side off to a brisk start.
Gambhir and his opening-partner Robin Uthappa added 91 runs for the first wicket, before Uthappa departed in the 11th over.
Knight Riders looked good for around 200 after the opening partnership but left-arm spinner Pawan Negi's 5 for 22 held them back. They still managed a respectable 180 in their innings.
Super Kings stuttered at the start of their innings and they lost opener Dwayne Smith in the first over of the chase. But the initial setback didn't dent Super Kings' confidence.
Raina joined Brendon McCullum and wrestled back the advantage with some breathtaking stroke-play. Raina led the way and clobbered the first ball he faced, from Pat Cummins, for four.
He consistently found the boundary and smashed two sixes off Piyush Chawla in the sixth over and another in the ninth. Almost everything Raina attempted came off. The drives raced in the gaps through the off side. The pulls disappeared behind square.
He survived a stumping chance off Kuldeep on 78 and the bowler Yusuf Pathan put down a difficult, diving chance when Raina was on 88. But both those chances came after Raina had snatched the game from Knight Riders' grasp.
Raina's hundred came off just 59 balls. His 118-run stand with McCullum guided Super Kings to their second champions League T20 title.
"I have seen Virat Kohli bat and hit big hundreds and i have learnt from him that you can't throw it away," Raina said. "I have also learnt a lot from Yuvraj on how to finish innings. In the last seven years, I have played with Fleming, Hayden, Hussey, and I have learnt from them on how to build an innings."
Dhoni said that his team had learnt from their losses in earlier editions of the CLT20.
"Overall it was a fantastic game for us," Dhoni said. "To start off it was a good toss to win. It was slightly difficult for the opposition bowlers. Our fielding was not up to the mark. In finals, you have to take the game to the next level. So we didn't start well. Negi is not afraid to toss the ball. It was important to do that to get something out of the wicket. We have made eight finals, won four, i won't say it is too bad. We made quite a few errors in the last two finals, so what we took out of those finals was really important. Raina was aggressive throughout and he ensured he stayed till the end."