At a time when the whole country is gearing up for the much-anticipated mega-auction of the Indian Premier League, discarded India batsman Suresh Raina roared back to form with a stunning century for Uttar Pradesh against Bengal in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy.
The southpaw, who last played for India during the T20 series against England on February 1 last year, had endured a terrible time with the bat in the last Ranji Trophy and was going through a similar form in the ongoing tournament. After scoring just 105 runs in 5 Ranji Trophy games, the southpaw started the T20 tournament in the same form, managing just 56 runs in 5 matches. However, Raina found his mojo back on Monday (January 22) and blew away Bengal with an unbeaten whirlwind knock of 126.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) January 22, 2018
Raina, who hasn’t made a century in first-class cricket since November 2015, scored his fifty off just 22 balls and went on to complete his century in 49 balls. The 126-run knock came off just 59 balls and was studded with 13 fours and 7 huge sixes. The skipper was well supported by Akshdeep Nath who scored 80 off 43 as Uttar Pradesh scored a mammoth 235 for 3 in the allotted 20 overs.
Meanwhile, the fans and others were delighted to see Raina regaining his form and expressed their feelings on Twitter. Here are some of the reactions:
Before this game: Ek Tha Raina
After this game: Raina Zinda Hai 🙌😊🏏 #BENvUP
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 22, 2018
— Maaz Khan (@maddymaaaz) January 22, 2018
— Amol (@Imamol97) January 22, 2018
Now this is the Suresh Raina we know and love! #SyedMushtaqAliTrophy
— Yutika_M (@Yutika11) January 22, 2018
— Srikar Beernelly (@sbeernelly) January 22, 2018
— akash dhaliwal708 (@imAkash70) January 22, 2018
126* in 59 balls, Suresh Raina back in form? 😱 #SyedMushtaqAliTrophy
— Shubh AggarWall (@shubh_chintak) January 22, 2018
SURESH RAINA's 126* is now the highest individual score in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 history surpassing Unmukt Chand's 125 in 2013.
— Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) January 22, 2018
CHAMPIONS never up !! Chinna Thala @ImRaina proves once again why he is a 👑 in the shorter format of the game. Brilliant 💯 👏👏
— Lakshmi Narayanan (@lakshuakku) January 22, 2018
Suresh Raina in last 4 months (Ranji Trophy & Syed Mustaq T20)
6, 29, 0, 5, 10, 16, 6, 33, 0, 13, 1, 26, 2, 13
160 in 14 innings
— Merin Kumar ™ (@merin_kumar) January 22, 2018