Suresh Raina proved that his preparation for the upcoming Indian Premier League was in order as he guided Uttar Pradesh to a six-wicket triumph over Hyderabad in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20) Group E match at the Air Force Sports Complex 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.
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 for a 35-ball 54 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.
Though 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, Raina and Priyam Garg (19 not out) ensured that there were no further alarm for their team.
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 Ambati Rayudu (29 off 31 deliveries) struggled to score freely. K. Sumanth contributed with a brisk 10-ball 18, which included a six and a four, but the total never appeared a testing one once the UP top-order got going.
In the other matches, Uttarakhand upstaged Baroda for its second successive win, Services tamed Tripura and Maharashtra cruised past Pondicherry.
Hyderabad 139 for seven in 20 overs (B. Sandeep 33, Ambati Rayudu 29, Ankit Rajpoot three for 31) lost to Uttar Pradesh 143 for four in 18.3 overs (Suresh Raina 54 not out, Samarth Singh 36, Upendra Yadav 25, Ashish Reddy three for 33) by six wickets.
Baroda 152 for five in 20 overs (Kedar Devdhar 61, Yusuf Pathan 47 not out, Deepak Hooda 26) lost to Uttarakhand 153 for three in 19 overs (Vaibhav 49 not out, Saurabh Rawat 41, Karanveer Kaushal 25) by seven wickets.
Tripura 157 for six in 20 overs (Mura Singh 52, Ninad Kadam 32 not out) lost to Services 158 for two in 16.5 overs (Nakul Verma 73, Ravi Chauhan 62 not out) by eight wickets.
Pondicherry 101 for six in 20 overs (Paras Dogra 32, Thalaivan Sargunam 29, Divyang Hinganekar four for 19) lost to Maharashtra 105 for two in 15.4 overs (Rituraj Gaikwad 55 not out, Naushad Shaikh 44 not out) by eight wickets.
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