Uttar Pradesh takes trophy

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JUBILANT: The Uttar Pradesh team, which won the all-India Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup tournament in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
JUBILANT: The Uttar Pradesh team, which won the all-India Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup tournament in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Principal Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Uttar Pradesh beat Hyderabad by 59 runs to win the Coromandel King all-India Moin-ud-Dowla Gold Cup invitation cricket tournament at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Tuesday.

Chasing 322 for victory, Hyderabad was cruising at 196 for four in 58 overs. Abhinav Kumar (51, 69 balls, 8x4) and Ambati Rayudu (78, 161 balls, 13x4) treated the bowling on merit on a pitch which played true.

It was Abhinav who was the more aggressive during the 72-run partnership with Rayudu for the second wicket. But, he perished when he misread the inswing from medium-pacer Imtiaz Ahmed to be clean bowled.

Rash stroke

Then Anoop Pai and Rayudu combined to put on 64 runs for the third wicket before Pai (34, 59 balls, 5x4) was beaten by the spin and flight from left-armer Praveen Gupta and was cleaned up. Rayudu then went for a rash stroke off Imtiaz Ahmed and was caught at mid-off.

Left-arm spinner Ashish Yadav forced Ahmed Quadri (0) to cut but managed only to drag the ball on to the stumps. Later, captain Tanmay Srivastava pulled off a great catch at square-leg by leaping in the air to pluck a full-blooded pull stroke from Benjamin Thomas (16, 3x4) off Imtiaz Ahmed, thus reducing Hyderabad to 204 for seven.

Despite some late fireworks from the hard-hitting Aashish Reddy (38, 57 balls, 3x4, 1x6), it was obvious Hyderabad was fighting a losing a battle.

Thanks to some fine bowling by Imtiaz (four for 56) and left-arm spinners Praveen Gupta and Ashish Yadav (who took two wickets apiece), UP emerged a deserving winner and picked up the purse of Rs. 3 lakh. Hyderabad collected Rs. 2 lakh for finishing runner-up.

Mr. G. Vinod, president of Hyderabad Cricket Association, Dr. M. V. Sridhar, HCA secretary, and Mr. N. Shivlal Yadav, BCCI vice-president, gave away the prizes.

The scores:

Uttar Pradesh 321 in 90 overs bt Hyderabad 262 in 81.1 overs (Abhinav Kumar 51, Ambati Rayudu 78, S. Anoop Pai 34, Aashish Reddy 38, Imtiaz Ahmed four for 56).

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