Suresh Raina and Subramanian Badrinath notched up unbeaten individual half centuries, besides forging a century stand, to power Chennai Super Kings to an impressive 180 for two against Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League here today.
Raina (83 not out), freed of the burden of captaincy with the return of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, put together a partnership of 142 runs with Badrinath (55 not out) to lift the Super Kings from 38 for two to a competitive total.
Raina was clearly the aggressor while Badrinath was the accumulator as the duo combined to give the visiting team a chance to end their two-match losing streak.
Raina struck three sixes and seven fours in his superbly paced 52-ball innings while Badrinath, slow to begin with, opened out later to strike six fours in 45 balls.
For Mumbai, Harbhajan Singh and Ryan McLaren emerged as the pick of the bowlers, with 1 for 25 and 1 for 23 respectively but Zaheer Khan, Dwayne Bravo and Lasith Malinga were very expensive, each conceding over 40 runs each without success.
The match began on a good note for the home team who won the toss and decided to field first.
Matthew Hayden (20) briefly threatened to take the match away with a flurry of boundaries in the second over but was dismissed by an inspiring piece of captaincy by Sachin Tendulkar.
Kept quiet in the first over by Ryan McLaren, Hayden attacked Zaheer Khan and carted the left arm bowler for four successive boundaries in the second over.
Zaheer was taken off the firing line for the third over by Tendulkar and spin trump card Harbhajan was brought into the attack.
The move paid dividends immediately when the off-spinner trapped the powerful Aussie leg before with his second ball.
Hayden made 20 off 12 balls and had just replaced his regular bat with his Mongoose blade to face the slow bowler.
McLaren, bowing superbly at the other end and hardly giving anything away barring a flicked four to Hayden, struck another blow by dismissing Parthiv Patel for eight.
The diminutive left-handed batsman, trying to make room and hit to the off, edged the ball into his stumps and the Super Kings slumped to 38 for two after five overs.
Raina looked comfortable in the middle and worked a short ball from Bravo to the third man fence and then swung Harbhajan to the long leg boundary for fours.
Raina hooked Zaheer and pulled Malinga for sixes in successive overs while Badrinath also swung the latter as the visitors added 44 runs in the last five overs.