Suresh Raina returned to the Indian Premier League with a bang as the Chennai Super Kings star hit a 32-ball fifty in their IPL 2021 opener against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. Raina hit his 39th IPL fifty as he equalled Virat Kohli on the list of most fifties in the IPL.

Suresh Raina had pulled out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons despite reaching the UAE for the rest of the squad and CSK missed his presence in the middle-order. And Raina showed how important he is to the CSK batting unit as early as the first game of IPL 2021, coming up with a free-flowing knock.

Raina took his time to settle into his innings as CSK were jolted twice, losing their opener Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad inside 3 overs. Raina and Moeen Ali steadied the ship and the former India cricketer was happy to play second fiddle when Ali was going big. The two added 53 runs for the 3rd wicket in just 6.2 overs before Ali fell to R Ashwin.

However, Raina cut loose after Ali's exit, hitting the Delhi Capitals spinners out of the park. He hit senior leg-spinner Amit Mishra high into the stands, picking his googlies with precision. Raina got to his fifty in style hitting a length ball from Marcus Stoinis into the vacant mid-wicket stand.

Raiina and Ambati Rayudu put the pressure back on Delhi Capitals with the former taking the charge in a 63-run stand that came in just 32 balls.

Suresh Raina hit 4 sixes and 3 boundaries for his 36-ball 54. Just when Raina was looking to switch to the top gear, he was run-out after a bad mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja in the 16th over.

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