Syed Mushtaq Ali T20: Raina cracks hundred as UP, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi win
Kolkata, Jan 22: Out-of-favour India batsman Suresh Raina broke a dry spell with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 59-ball 126 as Uttar Pradesh floored Bengal by 75 runs while Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi also registered victories in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament Super League matches here on Monday.
In a Group B match at the Eden Gardens, Raina looked in sublime form taking all the Bengal bowlers to the cleaners.
The southpaw, whose outing so far in the tournament was average as he accumulated 55 runs in five matches, peppered 13 fours and seven sixes, to bring up his ton in 49 deliveries by flicking the ball to backward square leg.
Raina's 126 is the second highest score by an Indian in T20 cricket. Murali Vijay holds the record with 127 for Chennai Super Kings in 2010.
Electing to bat first, Uttar Pradesh rode Raina's pyrotechnics and Akshdeep Nath's 43-ball 80 to post a mammoth 235/3, the highest total in the competition's history.
In reply, Manoj Tiwary and company succumbed to India's chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav's 4/26 and Mohsin Khan's 3/35, managing just 160 all out. In-form Sreevats Goswami scored a fighting 28-ball 57. UP were brilliant in the field taking some blinders.
In the other Group B tie, Delhi beat Baroda by two wickets in a close encounter. Electing to field, Delhi restricted Baroda to 140/8 with medium-pacer Subodh Bhati returning best figures of 4/20.
In reply, left-arm fast bowler Lukman Meriwala (4/24) led Baroda's fightback amidst Dhruv Shorey's 56-ball 74. Athith Sheth (1/36) removed Shorey in the 18th over as he looked dangerous to make the match interesting but skipper Pradeep Sangwan (23 not out) used his experience to see the team through.
At the Jadavpur University campus ground, veteran southpaw Yuvraj Singh and the big-hitting Gurkeerat Mann helped Punjab seal a thrilling three-wicket victory over Mumbai to win their second match on the trot in a Group A match.
Gurkeerat smashed an 18-ball 43 hitting six fours and two sixes while Yuvraj (40 off 34 balls; 2×4, 2×6) played second fiddle to make light of Mumbai's 198/4 in 20 overs after they were put in to bat first.
Yuvraj got two reprieves — dropped on 8 by Akhil Herwadkar and then on 32 by Shreyas Iyer — while Gurkeerat turned the match in Punjab's favour in the 14th over when he hit Akash Parkar for 24 runs in six balls.
Manan Vohra (42 off 31 balls; 3×4, 2×6) helped Punjab to a brisk start before medium pacer Shivam Dube (3/27) got him out.
Dube also got the wickets of Yuvraj and Abhishek Gupta (1) but Sharad Lumba's unbeaten 10-ball 21 saw Punjab cross the line with four balls to spare.
For Mumbai, Shreyas Iyer's whirlwind 44-ball 79 powered them to 198/4. Off-spin great and Punjab skipper Harbhajan Singh (0/27) returned wicketless but was economical while Mayank Markande took two wickets.
In the other Group A tie, Jharkhand were virtually knocked out of the competition after suffering their second defeat in consecutive days, losing to Rajasthan by four wickets with five balls remaining.
Put in, Jharkhand could manage 157/5 with Virat Singh (43 off 28 balls) top-scoring for the side and Ishan Kishan gathering a patient 39 off 36 deliveries.
Deepak Chahar (2/35) and Aditya Garhwal (2/15) were the pick of the bowlers for Rajasthan.
In reply, Jharkhand were poor on the field, dropping three catches including one of Deepak Chahar in the 17th over. Chahar went on to guide his side to victory, remaining not out on 20 along with Chetan Bist (18 not out).
Garhwal shone with the bat as well, top-scoring for the victors with 43 off 40 balls and anchoring the chase.
Brief Scores: UP 235/3 (Suresh Raina 126, Akshdeep Nath 80) beat Bengal 160 (Sreevats Goswami 57; Kuldeep Yadav's 4/26, Mohsin Khan's 3/35).
Baroda 140/8 (Kedar Devdhar 77, Vishnu Solanki 21; Suboth Bhati 4/20) lose to Delhi 143/8 (Dhruv Shorey 74, Pradeep Sangwan 23 not out; Lukman Meriwala 4/24).
Punjab 199/7 (Gurkeerat Mann 43, Manan Vohra 42, Yuvraj Singh 40; Shivam Dube 3/27) beat Mumbai 198/4 (Shreyas Iyer 79 not out, Akhil Herwadkar 42)
Jharkhand 157/5 (Virat Singh 43, Ishan Kishan 39; Aditya Garhwal 2/15) lose to Rajasthan 158/6 (Aditya Garhwal 43, Salman Khan 34; Varun Aaron 2/24).