Suresh Raina struck a season-best 93 with 12 fours and four sixes, but Uttar Pradesh failed to seize the initiative against Gujarat. Two crucial run outs, involving Raina, forced the side to finishing the day on 242/6 after Gujarat’s skipper Parthiv Patel chose to field on a fast and bouncy track at the Motibaug Cricket Ground.
Playing his fourth match of the season, Raina led UP on the road to recovery along with Shivakant Shukla (42) after they lost in-form opener Tanmay Srivastava early. The duo added 106 for the second wicket and were looking set when a call for quick run from Raina saw Shivakant finding himself short of his crease as Mohnish Parmar, the bowler, scored a direct hit. This wasn't all as skipper Mohammad Kaif soon departed in similar fashion with Raina responding late.
After facing a barrage of bouncers from Siddarth Trivedi and Ashraf Makda, a gutsy Raina struck a four and two consecutive sixes in the very first over of Gujarat's trump card Parmar, and gave similar treatment to Timil Patel. Some of his back-foot punches were a treat to watch. But Raina lost his cool against leggie Timil and was beautifully caught by Sunny Patel almost on the ropes at long-on.
With the team’s top order already back in the pavilion, it was Parvinder Singh (53 not out) and all-rounder Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (29) who steadied the UP innings.
They will be bowling a strong Gujarat batting line-up without Rudra Pratap Singh, who was ruled out in morning with a stiff shoulder.
Scores- UP (1st inn): S Shukla run out 42, T Srivastava c P Patel b A Makda 1, S Raina c S Patel b T Patel 93, M Kaif run out 2, Parvinder batting 53, B Kumar b M Parmar 29, P Chawla c Amit b A Makda 15, MA Khan batting 0; Extras (lb5, w2) 7; Total (for 6 wkts) 242; FoW: 1-2, 2-108, 3-124, 4-160, 5-210, 6-238; Bowling: S Trivedi 19-5-62-0, A Makda 14-7-21-2, A Singh 16-8-31-0, M Parmar 28-8-65-1, T Patel 14-2-58-1