IPL 2013: Raina Hits Century, Chennai Build Lead
Chennai Super Kings 186-4 (Raina 100no) beat
Kings XI Punjab 171-6 by 15 runs
Indian Premier League 2013, Chennai
Suresh Raina scored his maiden Indian Premier League century as Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab by 15 runs to further extend their lead at the top of the table to six points.
Raina's unbeaten 100 in 53 balls set up Chennai's score of 186 for four and although Kings XI gave the two-time champions a fright or two in reply, they eventually closed on 171 for six.
Shaun Marsh (73 in 51 balls) and David Miller (51 in 26) kept Kings XI in the match before Dwayne Bravo (3-34) took three wickets in the final over to end the visitor's hopes.
Chennai won the toss and decided to bat and got off to a decent start through openers Wriddhaman Saha (18) and Mike Hussey (35) but Raina's introduction saw them accelerate and post a winning score.
The left-hander struck seven fours and six sixes - the majority of them struck sweetly down the ground - on his way to a 53-balls century, in the process becoming the first Indian to score both an Twenty20 International and IPL century.
Although Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell for just two, Raina was given support by Albie Morkel, who made 23 not out in 16 balls.
Mohit Sharma then continued his fine run of form by grabbing the wickets of Kings XI openers Luke Pomersbach (7) and Mandeep Singh (15) but Kings XI showed plenty of courage in fighting back.
Marsh's 73 included eight fours and two sixes and he combined firstly with David Hussey, who hit 22 in 16 before being caught by Bravo off Ravichandran Ashwin. The two Australians added 37 in quick time although it was Marsh and Miller who almost turned the game on its head.
Miller contributed five fours and two sixes to a partnership of 95, the stand finally ended when Bravo bowled Marsh with the first ball of the final over. Kings XI had needed 19 to win and Marsh's dismissal all but ended their chances.
Bravo struck again next ball to remove Gurkeerat Singh without scoring and completed Kings XI's misery by having Rajagopal Sathish trapped in front from the penultimate delivery as Chennai made it seven wins in a row.
Kings XI, meanwhile, have now lost three in a row and their bid for a play-off place is badly in need of a boost.
© Cricket World 2013
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