Comeback man Raina, Sam Curran guide CSK to 188/7

Mumbai, Apr 10 (PTI) Suresh Raina announced his IPL comeback with a blazing 36-ball 54 and powered Chennai Super Kings to a solid 188 for seven against Delhi Capitals here on Saturday. Sam Curran smashed away to 34 off only 15 balls to prop up the CSK innings towards the end. Curran hit four fours and two sixes. The last five overs yielded 52 runs for CSK, thanks to Curran’s power-packed innings. Asked to bat first by Rishabh Pant, Ruturaj Gaikwad got CSK off the mark with a pleasing drive through the off side between point and cover, two deliveries after being beaten all ends up by a Chris Woakes outswinger. Last season’s runners-up DC didn’t have to wait long for their first breakthrough as Avesh Khan (2/23 in 4 overs) had Faf du PLessis trapped in front of the wicket in the second over. In the first ball of the third over, Woakes had Gaikwad caught in the slip cordon as CSK slipped to seven for two. The English pacer drew Gaikwad into a push with a ball that moved a slightly on pitching. In came Raina — he had missed the last IPL owing to personal reasons — and in the company of Moeen Ali, the seasoned campaigner revived CSK’s innings and looked to put up a challenging total against a strong DC batting line-up at the Wankhede Stadium. During his 24-ball 36, Moeen struck four boundaries and two sixes, playing a fine helping hand to Raina. Experienced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin cut short Moeen’s innings when the all-rounder got himself into an uncomfortable position while going for a reverse sweep, the ensuing top-edge ending in a good catch by Shikhar Dhawan, who ran backwards from short third man to hold on to the ball. Ambati Rayudu came in and straightaway got into the act, hitting a couple of sixes and a four to race away to 23 off 16 balls before Tom Curran ended his stay in the middle. Meanwhile Raina went about his task in a manner that did not give the impression that he was coming back to top-flight after a long hiatus. Raina got himself going with a four off Woakes and then worked Ashwin for two successive boundaries, not afraid to dance down the wicket against the wily spinner’s flight. Using his feet well, the veteran southpaw hoicked leg-spinner Amit Mishra for two and also got a maximum against Ashwin. It was no different with Marcus Stoinis as Raina pulled the Australian medium pacer for another six before being run-out following a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja (26).


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