Suresh Raina scored an unbeaten half-century against Punjab on Sunday.© Twitter
Suresh Raina’s half-century and a three-wicket effort from Bhuvneshwar Kumar went in vain as Punjab defended a modest 134 against Uttar Pradesh in their opening match of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy here on Sunday. Punjab posted 134 for seven in a Group A game with opener and wicketkeeper Simran Singh scoring 43 off 41 balls. Anmolpreet Singh (35 off 27) was another batsman who made a valuable contribution. Bhuvneshwar, who had to pull out of the IPL with a thigh muscle injury, was impressive in his comeback game, returning with figures of three for 22 in four overs.
However, UP fell short of the target and ended at 123 for five in 20 overs to lose by 11 runs.
Raina, playing his first competitive game in over 18 months, made an unbeaten 56 off 40 balls but it wasn’t enough to take his team over the line.
The southpaw, who announced his retirement alongside Con August 15 last year, had pulled out of the IPL due to personal reasons after travelling to Dubai with the rest of the CSK squad.
Brief Scores: Punjab 134/7 in 20 overs (Simran Singh 43; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/22, Ankit Rajpoot 2/28). UP: 123/5 in 20 overs (Suresh Raina 56 not out; Siddarth Kaul 2/28). Punjab won by 11 runs.
Other brief scores: Karnataka 150/5 in 20 overs (KL Shrijith 48 not out; Parvez Rasool 2/18). J&K 107 all out 18.4 overs (Abdul Samad 30; Abhimanyu Mithun 2/24, J Suchith 2/17, K Gowtham 2/13). Karnataka won by 43 runs.
Tripura 170/3 in 20 overs (Milind Kumar 61; Karn Sharma 1/23). Railways 173/4 in 19.3 overs (Mrunal Devdhar 61 not out; Sankar Paul 3/17). Railways won by six wickets.
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