CSK Suresh Raina
CSK left-hander Suresh Raina celebrates after completing his hundred against the Kings XI Punjab in their IPL 2013 gameRon Gaunt/IPL/SPORTZPICS

Suresh Raina's love affair with the IPL was reignited as the graceful left-hander smashed an unbeaten hundred to take CSK to a 15-run win over the Kings XI Punjab.

Raina was in his elements, remaining not out on 100 from 53 balls, as CSK finished on 186 for four after choosing to bat first at Chepauk. Kings XI in reply, made a real fist of the target with Shaun Marsh (73) and David Miller (51) putting on a brilliant partnership of 95 for the fourth wicket.

However, a perfect last over from Bravo, the Purple cap holder, where he picked up three wickets, ended the away side's hopes of pulling off a stunning chase, eventually ending their innings on 171 for six.

CSK are well clear at the top of the table with nine wins from 11 matches, while Kings XI are now struggling on eight points after their sixth loss in ten.

Luke Pomersbach came into the playing XI for Azhar Mahmood, with the Australian given the opportunity to open the innings with Mandeep Singh.

However, the plan did not quite bear fruit with Pomersbach (7) throwing away his wicket in the second over off Mohit Sharma, seeing his timber disturbed while going for a wild cross-batted slog.

The increasingly impressive Sharma (two for 31) picked up his second wicket in the powerplay overs, dismissing Mandeep, who saw his uppish drive go straight to Raina at cover in the final ball of the sixth over, leaving Kings XI on 36 for two.

Kings XI's best hope David Hussey, looking to accelerate the innings fell in an eventful 11th over from R Ashwin. The Australian was first caught by Ravindra Jadeja on the boundary line at long-on, but the CSK all-rounder planted his foot on the ropes while completing the catch, which meant it was a maximum instead of a wicket.

The second delivery was pulled for a couple, before another attempt at a maximum led to David Hussey's demise, with Dwayne Bravo making no mistake at long-off. Hussey made 22 from 16 balls, as Kings XI now needed 114 from 9.3 overs.

That was reduced to 95 off the last eight, with Shaun Marsh smashing Raina, whose magic clearly did not carry forward with the ball in his hand, for two sixes and a four.

Marsh and David Miller, Kings XI's best player in IPL 2013, kept the away side in the game with some good batting, taking the equation to a stiff but makeable 54 from the last four overs.

The target was whittled down to 30 from the last two overs as Marsh and Miller (51, 26b, 5x4, 2x6) continued to impress. Eleven runs were taken from the penultimate Chris Morris over, which meant Kings XI needed 19 off the last.

However, their chances of making the target were seriously dented, with Bravo castling Marsh for a brilliant 51-ball 73 (8x4, 2x6). Gurkeerat Singh then fell first ball, holing out to Michael Hussey in the deep, with Bravo (three for 34) also picking up Rajagopal Satish as CSK kept their nerve for their seventh win on the bounce.

Earlier, the CSK innings was symptomatic of most of the big totals in IPL 2013 so far, where you build a solid base at the top and then go berserk in the final overs.

CSK were going at around six runs an over in the first half, before Raina decided to take matters into his own hands, cutting loose with great effect.

Michael Hussey and Wriddhiman Saha opened the innings again for the home side, with the latter hogging much of the strike in the first four overs. After facing 18 of the first 23 deliveries, which yielded 27 runs, Saha was walking back to the pavilion, holing out to Marsh off Parwinder Awana.

That brought IPL's chief runmaker Raina to the crease and the two left-handers went about building a nice little partnership worth 55 runs from a little more than seven overs.

Both players kept their heads in the alliance, knowing the slow nature of the pitch, and more importantly realising the firepower waiting in the wings at the dugout.

At 82 for one, Orange Cap holder Hussey (35, 29b, 3x4) lost his wicket, stumped by Gurkeerat Singh off Piyush Chawla.

The stage was set for MS Dhoni to take the bowlers for a ride, but unfortunately, for the home side's fans, the CSK skipper was run out - one of those rarest of rare occasions -- after facing just two deliveries courtesy some good work from Satish.

However, that brought Albie Morkel to the middle and the South African along with Raina built the innings' biggest partnership of 74 from just 6.2 overs.

Raina, on 35 from 24 balls at that moment, and having come to terms with the pace of the pitch, just decided to take off with the Kings XI bowlers and fielders running for cover.

The left-hander scored 65 runs in his last 29 deliveries, as CSK scored 117 runs in the final ten overs, with Manpreet Singh Gony and Satish going for 29 and 26 runs respectively from two overs each.

Morkel fell in the penultimate over off Awana (two for 29), but it did not matter much as Raina stormed closer to his century.

It was just an unstoppable assault from Raina, getting to his hundred in the fifth ball of the final over as CSK raced to 186 for four, a total, which proved to be  a little too steep for Kings XI Punjab.