Suresh Raina roared back to form with an unbeaten century in Uttar Pradesh's 75-run win even as Bengal and Jharkhand stood on the brink of exit at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament on Monday.
Delhi and Punjab, on the other hand, posted second successive wins in their respective Super League group matches to brighten their hopes of making the final.
Without a half-century for more than 10 innings across formats, Raina cracked a 49-ball century en route to an unbeaten 126 (59b; 13x4, 7x6) to become the second Indian after Virat Kohli to score 7000 runs in the Twenty20 format. He is the ninth player to scale 'Mount 7000' runs in the Twenty20 format.
This was also Raina's fourth T20 century and second highest individual score by an Indian in T20s as he missed Murali Vijay's record 127 by just one run here. Raina's century helped Uttar Pradesh pile up 235 for 3 after the UP skipper opted to bat.
In reply, Bengal folded for 160 in 16.1 overs with India chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav returning with 4 for 26. It was a second successive defeat for Bengal at Eden Gardens as they virutally crashed out of the group B race for final.
Raina found a fine ally in Akshdeep Nath, who smashed 80 off 43 balls including seven fours and four sixes as they stitched a 163-run partnership for the third wicket to open their campaign with a bang. Later, Delhi shone bright under lights as Dhruv Shorey (74 from 56 balls; 8x4, 2x6) laid the foundation for an intense two-wicket win over Baroda.
It was No 8 Pradeep Sangwan's unbeaten 23 from 12 balls (3x4, 1x6) which helped Delhi to romp home with five balls to spare. Put in, Baroda rode on Kedhar Devdhar's 77 to post a modest 140/8 and in reply Delhi were 66/5 midway into their chase with their star duo of Gautam Gambhir (7) and Rishabh Pant (0) getting out cheaply. But Shorey kept them in the fight before Sangwan finished the chase.
In a group A match at the Jadavpur University second campus ground in Saltlake, the stylish Yuvraj Singh struck a 34-ball 40 to help Punjab beat Mumbai by three wickets for their second successive win. Chasing a challenging 199, Punjab were 72 for two when the out-of-favour India left-hander took control of the match with opener Manan Vohra (42 from 31 balls; 3x4s, 2x6s).
Yuvraj's knock was studded with two fours and two sixes and it also inspired Gurkeerat Singh to bring out his best with a quickfire 18-ball 43 (6x4s, 2x6s), as they chased down the target with four balls to spare. Punjab, who pipped Karnataka in the Super Over yesterday, now have two wins in Group A while Jharkhand are virtually ousted after suffering a loss against Rajasthan.
Aditya Garhwal (43 and 2/15) dished out an all-round show as Rajasthan chased down 158 with five balls to spare earlier in the day. Mumbai's butterfingered fielders helped Punjab as Yuvraj was dropped twice -- on 8 and 32 -- the second being a sitter grassed by Shreyas Iyer at long-off. Yuvraj smashed two clean sixes, the first a flash over deep cover region and then he hit Parikshit Valsangkar straight down the ground.
After Vohra was dismissed by Shivam Dubey (3/27), Yuvraj found an able ally in Gurkeerat, who grew in confidence and punished the Mumbai bowling, helping the team race to 100 in 57 balls. Gurkeerat broke free with an incredible reverse sweep off Dubey before unleashing his fury against Akash Prakar with two sixes and three fours in the 14th over.
After Gurkeerat and Yuvraj's departure, Sharad Lumba held his nerve to complete the chase with an unbeaten 21 from 10 balls, which included two sixes and a boundary. Yuvraj was trapped LBW by Dubey in the 18th over but Lumba kept the scoreboard ticking and hit a huge six over fine leg to bring the equation down to 13 runs from last two overs. Earlier, Shreyas Iyer hit an unbeaten 79 off 44 balls with eight boundaries and four sixes to lift Mumbai to 198-4.
Opener Akhil Herwadkar (42 off 36 balls) gave Iyer a fine support as the duo put together 73 runs for the second wicket.
At Eden Gardens:
Uttar Pradesh 235/3; 20 overs (Suresh Raina 126 not out, Akashdeep Nath 80) beat Bengal 160; 16.1 overs (Shreevats Goswami 57; Kuldeep Yadav 4/26) by 75 runs.
Baroda 140/8; 20 overs (Kedar Devdhar 77; Subodh Bhati 4/20) lost to Delhi 143/8; 19.1 overs (Dhruv Shorey 74, Pradeep Sangwan 23 not out; Meriwala 4/24) by two wickets.
At Jadavpur University second campus ground:
Mumbai 198/4; 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 79, Akhil Herwadkar 42) lost to Punjab 199/7; 19.2 overs (Gurkeerat Mann 43, Manan Vohra 42, Yuvraj Singh 40; Shivam Dubey 3/27) by three wickets.
Jharkhand 157/5; 20 overs (Virat Singh 43, Ishan Kishan 39; Aditya Garhwal 2/15, Chahar 2/35) lost to Rajasthan 158/6; 19.1 overs (Aditya Garhwal 43, Salman Khan 34, Deepak Chahar 20 not out; Varun Aaron 2/24, Jaskaran Singh 2/42) by four wickets.
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