Champions League Twenty20: Suresh Raina Equals Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Slamming Sixes
Suresh Raina has become the first Indian to complete 5000 Twenty20 runs. He slammed a match-winning 43-ball 90 in a Champions League Twenty20 match for Chennai Super Kings on Monday, catching up with Mahendra Singh Dhoni in clubbing sixes.
Suresh Raina is having a good run with the bat from India's ODI series in England. Raina stroked a 43-ball 90 against Dolphins in Bangalore on Monday to help Chennai Super Kings secure a crucial Champions League Twenty20 victory. En route, Raina either equalled or surpassed a few milestones.
"I am hitting the ball very well and God has been very kind. I am working very hard on my game and there are still two games to go and make the knockout rounds," Raina said in a post-match chat.
The left-handed Chennai all-rounder has proved himself to be a specialist in limited overs cricket. Raina has completed his 5,000 runs in Twenty20 -- his tally being 5023 (average 34.88) in 183 matches. Raina is the first Indian and the seventh batsman to complete 5,000 runs in Twenty20.
Raina slammed eight sixes and four boundaries in his 90. Raina's tally of 31 sixes in 21 innings is exceeded only by Kieron Pollard in CLT20. The West Indian has clubbed 49 sixes in 27 innings.
By hitting eight sixes, Raina has emulated his skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Both share a record for registering most sixes in an innings for Chennai in CLT20. Dhoni had recorded eight during his innings of 63 not out off 19 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Ranchi on September 26, 2013.
The record for most sixes in an innings in Champions League is 11 by David Warner, during his splendid knock of 123 not out off 68 balls for New South Wales versus RCB at Bangalore on October 7, 2011.
When you consistently score big, records are bound to fall. Raina's 90 off 43 balls is his 31st fifty in Twenty20. This knock is the second highest by a Chennai batsman in Champions League Twenty20, the highest being 94 not out by Raina himself versus Royal Challengers Bangalore at Durban on September 24, 2010.
Raina competes with himself while turning out for Chennai. The top four individual innings for Chennai have been recorded by Raina in the CLT20. Raina is the third batsman after Henry Davids and Michael Hussey to register five fifties in the CLT20, sharing a record.
Raina, with 726 runs (average 36.30) in 21 games, is the top run-scorer in Champions League Twenty20. He has overtaken Pollard's tally of 649 in 28 matches.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)