Suresh Raina is perhaps India’s first T20 star, who impressed one and all with his impressive strokeplay and lightning-quick fielding, in the international arena, as well as the IPL. In the cash-rich league he plies his trade for the Chennai Super Kings, and has been with them right since the inception of the league. Although he did not feature in the IPL last year, the most successful batsman for CSK would be gunning to go.
Cricketnext takes a look at some of Raina’s best IPL knocks in the past –
87 (25) vs Kings XI Punjab – 2014
Not just the IPL, but this could perhaps be the best T20 knock ever. It was the 2nd qualifier of the 2014 edition and CSK faced off against KXIP. The latter posted a mammoth 226 in 20 overs, thanks to Virender Sehwag’s 122 from 58 balls. But Raina was in punishing mood and stitched a 66 run partnership with Dwayne Smith, of which the West Indian scored only 7. He smashed 12 four and six sixes, and was well on his way to become fastest centurion ever. But unfortunately, they ended up losing the game.
98 (55) vs Rajasthan Royals – 2009
This particular innings by Raina came at a crucial time for the team. CSK were reeling at 17-2 at one stage and all the RR bowlers were on top. But Raina started to counter-attack and smashed 10 fours and five sixes to take the team to 164. The next best score in the team was of S Badrinath — 29. The score of was enough for CSK to hand RR a convincing defeat. That season, Raina scored 434 runs.
73 (50) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 2011
RCB were tipped to win the match after Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 70 from 44 deliveries, in the first qualifier. That helped them set a target of 176. CSK were off to worst possible start as they were reduced to 7/2/ But Raina added 63 runs with Badrinath and 61 with MS Dhoni, to take team over the line. Also, Albie Morkel hit 10-ball 28 to seal the deal for CSK.
100 (53) vs Kings XI Punjab – 2013
This happens to be Raina’s only hundred in the IPL. Coming in to bat at 27/1, Raina hit bowlers all over the park and smashed seven fours, to go with six sixes. That helped Chennai reach 186 in their 20 overs. That proved more than enough for the opposition, as Punjab lost the match by 15 runs.