Chennai ride on super Raina

Raina was the architect of Super Kings come-from-behind win as the left-hander blasted his way to a 50-ball 73, including four hits to the fence and an astonishing six times over it to make light of Royal Challengers’ daunting 175 for four here at the Wankhede Stadium, which had a significant crowd for a match involving two neutral sides.

With Chris Gayle’s threat neutralised early in the innings, Super Kings might have thought they had won half the battle. But Virat Kohli (70, 44b, 5x4, 3x6) came up with gem of a knock to take the Bangalore side to what appeared a winning total on a pitch that was expected to play slower and lower as the match progressed.

At half-way stage of the chase, Royal Challengers looked to have all but sealed the match. But Raina unleashed a blizzard that swept Bangalore bowlers off their feet. The left-hander, one of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball, began the loot in the 13th over slamming A Mithun for two sixes and taking 23 off the over.

Together with skipper M S Dhoni, he collected 20 runs off Zaheer Khan’s final over, and then drove the final nail into the coffin when he took 21 off the 19th over by S Arvind. A whopping 115 came off the last 9.4 overs and a remarkable 67 off the final 4.4, as Royal Challengers dreams lay shattered.

The Challengers now travel to Chennai to play the second Qualifier in Chennai where they will take on the winners of the eliminator between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders here on Wednesday.

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