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Superb Raina rescues stuttering Super Kings

Suresh Raina scored a wonderful half century to help the Super Kings recover after a disastrous start to set the Mumbai Indians a target of 169 to win the 2010 Indian Premier League.

The Super Kings got off to an assured start as they navigated a tricky first over bowled by Harbhajan Singh who had a couple of light hearted LBW appeals turned down by umpire Rudi Koertzen.

After suffering a disappointing tournament with the bat Matthew Hayden’s lack of confidence was apparent early on as he struggled against the unorthodox bowling of Lasith Malinga.

Having won the toss the Super Kings needed Hayden to contribute with the bat, the Aussies responded in superb fashion when he dispatched a delivery from Harbhajan Singh in the third over for a huge six over long-on to break the shackles.

After enjoying a positive, all be it slow start the Super Kings would’ve wanted Vijay and Hayden to increase the run rate after taking so long to get underway but the pair succumb to the building pressure losing their wickets in the space of 9 balls.

Vijay (26) was the first of the openers to lose his wicket after he tried to kick some life into the innings. The young Indian misread a slower ball from Dilhara Fernando as he tried to smash the bowler over long-on.

Although Vijay got power behind the shot he also got to much elevation which saw the ball drop short of the boundary into the safe hand of Saurabh Dilhara to leaving the Super Kings 44-1.

Hayden soon followed after he tried to pull Kieron Pollard over square leg, the Aussies got into the shot to early and top edged it through to wicket keeper Ambati Rayudu as the Super Kings suffered a big set back.

With the Super Kings openers back in the dug out the Indians were well placed to further restrict the new batsman as Tendulkar brought Harbhajan Singh back into the attack as the runs started to dry up with only 58 conceded by the Indians inside the first 10 overs.

The lack of runs contributed to the dismissal of Subramanian Badrinath (14) who picked out Malinga out on the boundary who took a straight forward catch to give Fernando his second wicket of the night as the Super Kings were reduced to 67-3.

The wicket of Badrinath brought MS Dhoni to the crease and the Super Kings skipper signalled his intentions to attack by smashing Pollard for a huge six over deep midwicket.

Dhoni was joined at the crease by Raina and the two new batsmen started to rebuild the Super Kings stuttering innings. With a few slices of luck the pair built the foundations of an important contribution.

The Indians dropped Raina twice on his way to a superb half century which helped the Super Kings reach 108-3. With 5 overs to go and seven wickets in hand Raina attacked Pollard in the 15th over smashing 20 runs off the West Indians final over.

Fernando conceded 12 runs in the next over before Zaheer Khan struck back to remove Dhoni (22) and halt the Super Kings late charge after the skipper was caught by Fernando at extra cover.

Albie Morkel wasted little time on his arrival at the crease by smashing the first ball he faced for a boundary as he carried on where Dhoni had left off. The South African enjoyed an important cameo at the end if the innings by bringing up the Super Kings 150 with a huge six.

The final over was bowled by Malinga, the Sri Lankan, who is one of the world best death bowlers bowled 4 dot balls before conceding 11 runs from the final 3 balls after bowling a wide to allow the Super Kings to reach 168-5.

After restricting the Super Kings during the first half of the innings the Indians will be disappointed to have allowed Raina to change the course of the game dropping him twice early on in his innings.

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