IPL: Chennai Super Kings close out Kings XI Punjab in style

Suresh Raina racks up a maiden hundred not out in the tournament as the visitors run short in a spirited run chase.

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Toss Chennai, chose to bat
Chennai Raina 100 not out, M Hussey 35; Awana 2-29
Punjab Marsh 73, Miller 51 not out; Bravo 3-34, M Sharma 2-31
Man of the match Suresh Raina (Chennai)

Chennai Super Kings enhanced their reputation as contenders for the Indian Premier League title in its sixth season by outwitting Kings XI Punjab despite a spirited performance by the visitors at the MA Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk today.

The match was littered with the usual sprinkling of foreign players doing well with the odd performance from an Indian player an unbeaten century by Suresh Raina – and a power-packed last over from West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, which sealed the issue for the table leaders.

In the end, Chennai ran out as comfortable winners by 15 runs after Punjab threatened to challenged the imposing target of 187 till the last three overs.

With three overs to go, Punjab had wickets in hand and the Australians, Shaun Marsh (73) and David Miller (51 not out) well set to initiate the final onslaught, needing a possible 42 runs to win.

Two tough chances went begging, but Chennai managed to keep the equation to 19 required from the last over.

Bravo then produced a magical three-wicket burst from the next five balls to take the game away from Punjab.

Earlier, the consistent Michael Hussey took the orange cap by moving into the top-scorer’s slot with a modest 35-run knock even as Raina single-handedly dropped anchor and kept the scoreboard ticking furiously with seven fours and six sixes for his 53-ball maiden hundred in the tournament.

“There is still scope for improvement for us,” said Chennai captain MS Dhoni. “When you are doing well, people are trying to get you down and you have to keep improving so that we do not lose momentum.”

Raina, the man of the match with 100 runs, said the wicket was not easy to bat on initially.

“The wicket was a bit slow, but still, 180-plus score was not enough but the bowlers did really well,” Raina said.

“I missed a hundred in South Africa [in IPL’s second season], so it was good. I wanted it badly and I got help from Michael and [coach] Stephen Fleming, who guided me on his to keep my bat in good shape.”