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 to make 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.
Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy: Gurkeerat's blitzkrieg helps Punjab outclass Mumbai; Jharkhand lose again
This was also Raina's fourth T20 century and second highest by an Indian as he missed Murali Vijay's record 127 by just one run.
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 virtually 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.
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 Dube 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.
(With PTI Inputs)