Suresh Raina and Bhuvneshwar Kumar fared pretty well on their return to competitive action but their efforts were still not enough to lead Uttar Pradesh to victory in their opening fixture against Punjab on Sunday.
A good bowling performance by the bowlers helped UP to restrict Punjab to a paltry total of 134/7. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was playing his first competitive match after he was ruled out due to injury in the middle of the IPL 2020 season, seemed to be in good rhythm. He registered superb bowling figures of 4-0-22-3 and thus broke Punjab’s back.
Ankit Rajpoot also did well as he finished with figures of 4-0-28-2. Both of his wickets were that of top-order batsmen, Mandeep Singh and Abhishek Sharma. Prabhsimran Singh was the top scorer for Punjab with a 41-ball knock of 43 to his name.
The chase shouldn’t have been that difficult for UP but they kept making it tougher for themselves as their innings kept progressing. The openers added only 33 runs in the first five overs and they lost their first wicket in the sixth over as well.
They didn’t lose any wicket for the next seven overs but they kept batting at less than a run-a-ball and they finally went on to lose the wicket of Dhruv Jurel (23) in the 13th over. It was a struggle all the way for the youngster as he batted with a strike-rate of only 76.67.
Raina tried his best to keep one end intact but he didn’t have any sort of support from the other end. Priyam Garg (4), Rinku Singh (6), and Karan Sharma (3) — all fell cheaply after that. The former Indian batsman remained unbeaten on 56 off 50 deliveries but UP could manage a total of only 123/5 in their quota of 20 overs, which was 11 runs shorter than Punjab’s total.
Siddharth Kaul was the pick of the Punjab bowlers with figures of 4-0-28-2 to his name. Sandeep Sharma and Arshdeep Singh claimed a wicket each as well.
Punjab 134/7 (Prabhsimran 43, Anmolpreet 35; Bhuvneshwar 3/22)
UP 123/5 (Raina 56*, Jurel 23; Kaul 2/28)
Result: Punjab won by 11 runs