Suresh Raina's all-round performance helped Uttar Pradesh beat Mumbai by four wickets and enter the final of the Ranji Inter-State one-day knock-out tournament at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Raina remained unconquered till the end, scoring 72 runs off 82 balls, inclusive of four boundaries, during his 133-minute stay at the wicket.
Earlier in the day, he claimed four wickets after Mumbai elected to bat first after winning the toss.
Chasing a victory target of 222 runs, UP began their innings on a positive note, with the opening pair of Rohit Prakash and Praveen Kumar putting on 35 runs for the first wicket before Mumbai skipper Sairaj Bahutule had Praveen stumped by 'keeper Manish Bangera.
Praveen hit five fours in his 26-run knock, off 21 balls, in 26 minutes.
However, Rohit and skipper Jyoti Yadav denied Mumbai another breakthrough as they added 59 runs for the second wicket before Yadav was caught by offie Ramesh Powar off his own bowling.
Raina then joined Rohit in the middle but their alliance was very short as left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni had Rohit caught by Amol Muzumdar.
Rohit scored 44 runs with the help of seven fours.
Thereafter, Raina and experienced Rizwan Shamshad steadied the UP innings by adding 65 runs for the fourth wicket. But Kulkarni again struck, this time having Rizwan caught by the wicketkeeper for well-made 24 runs after the latter mistimed a square cut and the ball kissed his bat before going to the keeper.
Kulkarni thenªhad Ravikant Shukla caught by his skipper for just one run and then UP lost its sixth wicket in the form of Amir Khan, who was run out by an accurate throw by Bahutule.
Raina, who held the other end tight, was joined by Ali Hamid and together they saw that UP did not lose any more wickets and reached the target in 45.5 overs.
Raina remained unbeaten on 72 runs while Hamid was not out on five runs.
For Mumbai, Nilesh Kulkarni took three wickets while Bahutule and Powar chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, Mumbai openers Manish Bangera and Wasim Jaffer gave their team a perfect start by adding 71 runs for the first wicket before slow left-arm bowler Praveen Gupta had Jaffer caught by the 'keeper after he scored 26 runs.
Soon Bangera followed, as he was run-out on a throw by Salabh Shrivastava while attempting a single. Bangera scored 46 runs and was the highest scorer for his team.
Thereafter, the Mumbai innings crumbled as it lost wickets at regular intervals. However, the tenth wicket partnership of 36 runs between Wilkin Mota (31) and Nilesh Kulkarni (14 not out) saw the team get past the 200 mark.
Off-break bowler Suresh Raina was the wrecker-in-chief for UP, claiming four wickets for just 33 runs while R P Singh, Praveen Kumar and Praveen Gupta also chipped in with a wicket apiece.