MUMBAI: Suresh Raina, who defied odds and fought the cramps, said the key to his success was to play straight and stay till the end. Raina’s 50-ball 73 was instrumental in Chennai Super Kings pulling off a Houdini Act against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Qualifier-1 match on Tuesday.

“I knew it was important to stay till the end. Zaheer Khan was bowling well, but I had to play my shots. I stayed positive. It was important to believe in myself and play my natural shots. I wanted to finish the game for the team,” he said.

“I decided to play straight and down the ground,” he said when asked whether it was an advantage to play against the left-arm bowlers (Zaheer, Aravind and Vettori).

Raina said, “It was not my best for I had played a better knock against the same side during the Champions League. I scored 90-odd on a difficult wicket.” The southpaw batsman, who struck four sixes in his blazing knock, also pointed out that the three partnerships helped CSK to chase down the stiff target set by RCB.

“There were very important partnerships with Badrinath, who played a fine innings, and Dhoni who played his shots before (Albie) Morkel finished the game for us,” he said.

Raina said the team was doing well under Dhoni’s captaincy and the team was looking forward to the second successive final. “It’s good we are doing well in the last four years, one more game to go. It’s important to execute your plans in every way in the final. It’s a different ball game,” he added.

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