Dhoni lavishes praise on Raina

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/raina-vijay.jpg' class='caption'> Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is happy to be back in the semi-final race after winning Tuesday's IPL encounter against Kolkata.

Updated: April 14, 2010 14:07 IST
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Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is happy to be back in the semi-final race after winning Tuesday's IPL encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders and paid a rich tribute to Suresh Raina for playing a match-winning explosive knock.

Raina played a 39-ball 78-run knock to help Chennai chase 140-run target with more than six overs to spare.

"Raina soaks up the pressure at number three, he has the responsibility of batting quickly and not getting out, he's been brilliant at finishing games off. It is great for his career. I wish Chennai a very Happy Tamil New Year," Dhoni said after the match.

The captain also praised opener Murali Vijay for his excellent show with the bat. Vijay and Raina raised a stunning 137-run unbeaten partnership for the second wicket.

"Vijay was initially looking to be aggressive, but of late he's realised that the body position is important and the results are showing."

Dhoni though said he is worried over their middle-order not getting enough practice due to splendid top-order show.

"Good to be in a situation where you go in a bit nervous, it helped us today. Ashwin bowled well, the others chipped in well. The IPL is all about pressure.. the way Raina and Vijay chased down 140 was good, it is a bit of a worry that the middle order is not getting enough practice," he said.

Rival skipper Sourav Ganguly was a dejected man.

"Not a good day for us. We picked the best team possible and tried our best. We lost too many in the first few overs and then did well to get 140. Expected it to turn a bit more, Raina batted beautifully. Hope we can win the next two games," Ganguly said.

R Ashwin, chosen Man-of-the-match for his brilliant opening spell, which turned the tide in favour Chennai was ecstatic with his performance.

"I don't think I've ever bowled better, I am really happy. I knew the new ball would grip better, and it worked for me. I've been working on my carrom ball for a year, it was spotted by my dad. I hope I can continue the form going ahead," he said.

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