Hailed as one of the most consistent and prolific scorers in the history of cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) – Suresh Raina added another feather to his illustrious cap as he becomes the first batsman to breach the 5000-run mark in the league. In the season opener between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chepauk on Saturday, Raina achieved the landmark with a flick of his pads to fine leg against Umesh Yadav’s bowling.
Raina is a vital cog in Chennai Super Kings’ batting unit and has played a crucial role for the yellow brigade in all the editions of IPL. The Ghaziabad-born batsman achieved the feat pf scoring 5K runs in his 173rd IPL innings. His average of close to 35 and an impressive strike-rate of 138+ makes him an invaluable asset for any T20 side in the world. Raina has smashed 35 half-centuries and one hundred in the IPL while donning the Chennai colours.
Earlier, veteran stalwart Harbhajan Singh rocked the top-order with a three-wicket burst as Chennai Super Kings shot out Royal Challengers Bangalore for a paltry 70 in 17.1 overs in the opening encounter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
On a slow Chepauk turner, the senior off-spinner opening the bowling, rolled back years with figures of 3/20 in his four-over spell that deflated Virat Kohli’s men completely.
Once Harbhajan had wreaked havoc, Imran Tahir (3/9 in 3 overs) tormented RCB even more with his traditional leg-breaks to kill the contest in the first half. With so much assistance for spinners, Ravindra Jadeja wasn’t going to be left behind, finishing with 2/15 in 4 overs..
Chennai Super Kings Playing XI: Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (captain and wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Royal Challengers Bangalore Playing XI: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel (wk), Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, AB de Villiers, Shivam Dube, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini.