Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy: Raina guides Uttar Pradesh to victory

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Maharashtra cruises past Pondicherry; Uttarakhand upstages Baroda

Suresh Raina proved that his preparation for the upcoming Indian Premier League was in order as he guided Uttar Pradesh to a six-wicket victory over Hyderabad in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament here on Friday.

As a result, UP scored its first win in two matches and left Hyderabad to deal with a second loss on successive days.

Modest target

Chasing a modest target of 140, UP cruised home in the penultimate over with Raina hitting the winning boundary off C.V. Milind to remain unbeaten on 54 off 35 balls, inclusive of three sixes and four boundaries.

Raina came good after the openers Samarth Singh and Upendra Yadav laid the foundation with a 48-run start.

Hyderabad struck thrice in the space of 12 runs — with Ashish Reddy sending back Aksh Deep Nath and Rinku Singh in succession — to leave UP a bit worried at 97 for four.

But, Raina and Priyam Garg (19 not out) ensured that there was no further alarm.

Earlier, the UP bowlers, led by in-form medium-pacer Ankit Rajpoot (three for 31) met with success at regular intervals and made it difficult for Hyderabad to breathe easy. Even B. Sandeep (33 off 31 deliveries) and Ambaty Rayudu (29 off 31 deliveries) struggled to score freely.

K. Sumanth contributed a brisk 10-ball 18, including a six and a four, but the total never appeared testing once the UP top-order got going.

In other matches, Uttarakhand upstaged Baroda for its second successive win, Services tamed Tripura and Maharashtra cruised past Pondicherry.

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