Raina double century puts UP in driver`s seat against Punjab

Mohali: Test discard Suresh Raina hit a blistering unbeaten double-hundred to help Uttar Pradesh reach a commanding position in the Ranji Trophy Super League match against Punjab, on Saturday.

Raina, who resumed from his overnight score of 15, batted with ease to produce a scintillating knock of 204 and also shared a 241-run stand with overnight partner Parvinder Singh (138) for the fourth wicket.

Responding to hosts` 350 all out, UP scored a mammoth 596 for five before declaring their innings and then took two wickets in Punjab`s second innings to raise visions of an innings victory.

If Raina served a reminder to the selectors that he shouldn`t be kept out of the scheme of things as far as longer version is concerned, Punjab captain Harbhajan Singh`s first Ranji match in recent times turned out to be a damp squib as he gave away 92 runs in his 28 wicketless overs.

The hosts are still trailing by 220 runs and need to bat through the day to save the match.

On Saturday the UP batsmen plundered Punjab bowling to notch up 375 runs in less than three sessions.

Raina`s blazing knock came off 275 balls and was laced with 23 shots to the fence while Parvinder, who was on 57 on Thursday scored 138 with the help of 18 boundaries.

Parvinder was caught by Manpreet Gony off part-time spinner Karan Goel`s bowling.

Later Piyush Chawla also bolstered UP total smashing a quickfire 73 off 67 balls with 10 fours and a six.

Punjab needed a good start in their essay but Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Ravi Inder Singh (0) and Chawla dismissed nightwatchman Sandeep Sharma (0) to cap an already successful day for UP.

Brief Scores: Punjab 350 & 26/2. UP 596/5 decl (Suresh Raina 204 no. Parvinder Singh 138, Piyush Chawla 73 no).


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