Suresh Raina's 53 got both Matthew Hayden and Kepler Wessles talking (file photo) © Getty Images
Matthew Hayden's 46-ball 81 earned him the Man-of-the-Match award but he believes it was Suresh Raina's knock that made the difference in the Chennai Super Kings' first home game, one that they sneaked by six runs.
Chennai lost two early wickets but Hayden and Raina (53) put on a century stand to lay the foundation for a 200-plus score. "He really played a better innings than me," Hayden said. "Lot of effort and skill are needed to play like that."
Kepler Wessels, the coach, also felt Raina had made a mark on the tournament. "He has played two good innings in our matches so far," he said. "He also has big responsibility on his shoulders when both Hayden and Michael Hussey would be going back to Australia to fulfill their national commitments."
Chennai's win wasn't without jitters, with Harbhajan Singh and Abhishek Nayar threatening to pull off an upset, but Hayden wasn't surprised with the way the game ebbed and flowed. "In this format of the game, one is never secured and they came too close to our total. Such situations cannot be avoided."
Nayar said Mumbai were eagerly awaiting the return of Sachin Tendulkar, who is nursing a groin injury. "Irrespective of winning or losing, we will be cutting a cake to celebrate Sachin's birthday tomorrow. We really hope that he comes back early."