SMA Trophy 2021: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suresh Raina’s comeback efforts go in vain; Punjab beats UP by 11 runs

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Suresh Raina made impressive returns to competitive cricket in Uttar Pradesh’s opening match of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2020-21, but it wasn’t enough for the side to win the game against Punjab, who won the low-scoring match by 11 runs on Sunday (January 10).

Bhuvneshwar took 3/22 in his four overs, playing his first match since the thigh injury in IPL 2020, while Suresh Raina scored 56* off 50 balls, in his first match since the final of IPL 2019, more than 18 months ago. He missed the 2020 domestic season due a knee injury and then skipped the IPL in UAE due to personal reasons.

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Punjab, batting first scored 134/7 in their 20 overs with Prabhsimran Singh and Anmolpreet Singh scoring 43 and 35 respectively. Uttar Pradesh could only reply with 123/5 in the chase, as Siddharth Kaul finished with impressive figures of 2/28.

The T20 tournament will act as an audition for all the cricketers looking to impress the eight IPL franchises ahead of the player auction in February. The teams will submit their list of retained players by January 21.

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