Champions League T20 Flashback: When Suresh Raina destroyed RCB

Blog by: Yash

Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina

It is often said that catches win matches, however for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), a superbly judged catch by Dale Steyn to dismiss Michael Hussey of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) turned into a bane for the team, as he backpedalled to fall down and ended up being concussed when his head hit the ground.

Facing off in the an all-Indian semi-final at the second edition of CLT20 on September 24, 2010 at Durban, CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and asked RCB to bowl first. The match was later curtailed to 17 overs for each side due to rain delays. Much was expected from Steyn who had been in good form. However, though his excellent catch helped his team dismiss the dangerous Hussey, it deprived RCB of their main strike bowler, and ultimately Virat Kohli was seen bowling his gentle floaters instead.

Hussey’s dismissal brought more bad news for RCB in the form of Suresh Raina, who came out to bat, and played the innings of a lifetime. The onslaught began in the sixth over when Raina dispatched two pitched up deliveries over the deep midwicket region for sixes. The same treatment was reserved for Dillon du Preez, who was filling in for the injured Jacques Kallis in the game.

RCB had their chances to dismiss Raina twice, both off the bowling of their skipper Anil Kumble, but didn’t take them. First Manish Pandey failed in his attempt of an acrobatic catch at deep midwicket off a slog-sweep by Raina in the seventh over. Later, Raina attempted the same shot in the eleventh over, this time top edging to short-third man, but Rahul Dravid, who was fielding there, simply lost track of the ball and backed out from taking an easy catch. A disgusted Kumble could only react with a coldest of stares.

Murali Vijay played the supporting role superbly, giving strike to Raina regularly, and also sneaking in an odd boundary. Cameron White was called upon to bowl by Kumble in an attempt to break the partnership. But the move backfired as White struggled with wides and no-balls, and also conceded a few boundaries. Skipper Kumble wasn’t spared either in conditions that weren’t conducive to his bowling, as he was taken for plenty of runs by Raina. Kumble ended with an uncharacteristic high economy of 9.50 in the match as CSK piled up a massive 174-4 in their 17 overs with Raina unbeaten on a majestic 94 off just 48 balls in an innings which included 6 sixes and 5 fours.

The chase was always going to be difficult for RCB batting line-up which was missing the injured Kallis, and things got worse at the start when Dravid played an unconvincing drive off the bowling of Doug Bollinger straight to Albie Morkel. The middle-order collapsed with some tight bowling from Morkel, Bollinger and Balaji and none among Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor, Virat Kohli or Cameron White got going, as RCB lost half their side with just 67 runs on the board. Youngster Manish Pandey who had opened the innings, played a fighting knock of 52, but it was an effort in vain, as the spinners – Ashwin and Muralitharan cleaned up the tail to dismiss RCB for 123 and ensuring a convincing 52 runs victory for the CSK, and paving the way for the team to progress to the final which they later went on to win the trophy against the Warriors.

It was a game to forget for Anil Kumble, for whom nothing went right as a captain as well as a player. Losing the toss set the precedent for the match for him, as he saw his lead bowler get injured in a freak incident, then saw crucial catches being dropped off his bowling and later saw his batting line-up crumble while chasing a steep target. But the day truly belonged to Suresh Raina, who treated the Durban with some amazing pyrotechnics in an electrifying innings and made the most of a weakened RCB team to secure victory for CSK.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 174-4 in 17 overs (Raina 94*, Vijay 41, Vinay Kumar 2-28)

Royal Challengers Bangalore 123 all out in 16.2 overs (Pandey 52, Bollinger 3-27, Muralitharan 2-38)

Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 52 runs and progressed to the final

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