IPL 2024: Riyan Parag smashes unbeaten 84 as RR make competitive 185/5 against DC

Saturday, June 15, 2024

All-rounder Riyan Parag continued his good run in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 by smashing an eye-catchy unbeaten 84 off just 45 deliveries to help Rajasthan Royals post 185/5 against Delhi Capitals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium here on Thursday.

Parag was slow to begin with, making just 26 runs off the first 26 balls he faced, as Rajasthan Royals made 58/3 in their first 10 overs. But he flicked a switch after Ravichandran Ashwin’s pinch-hitting cameo, making 58 runs in his next 19 balls, connecting very well with the deliveries and sending them over the boundary rope to make his best-ever IPL score.

His efforts meant RR amassed 128 runs while losing just two wickets in the last 10 overs, including 25 runs taken by Parag in the final over, to make a competitive total that looked improbable at one point. DC were great with the new ball but were taken for cleaners later by Parag, Ashwin, Dhruv Jurel and Shimron Hetmyer.

Electing to bowl first, the fast-bowling pair of Khaleel Ahmed and Mukesh Kumar got swing and seam and also used the angles well with the new ball for DC to win the Power-play. Yashasvi Jaiswal drove Mukesh for a crisp four, but the pacer bounced back with the one that seamed-in to go past Jaiswal’s clip and flatten the off-stump.

Sanju Samson was watchful, before steering, pulling and punching to take three fours off Mukesh in the fourth over. Khaleel was handed his third over inside the Power-play and the move paid off as he cramped Samson for room with a well-directed short ball, which the batter had to slash behind to Pant, as RR made 31/2 in the six-over phase.

DC brought in spin immediately from both ends and it paid dividends as Kuldeep Yadav beat Jos Buttler on the reverse-sweep, and coaxed Pant to go for a review from him. Replays showed that the ball had straightened to rap Buttler in front of leg-stump, as DC got him out plumb lbw.

RR promoted Ashwin as the pinch-hitter, and he began by dancing down the pitch against Kuldeep to smack a six over long-on. He gave further impetus to RR’s innings by pulling Nortje for two sixes, before hitting straight to deep mid-wicket off Axar to fall for 29 off 19 balls.

Ashwin’s brief counterattack allowed Parag to get over his slow start by tearing into Khaleel –- a pick-up six over backward square-leg for six, followed by slicing and lofting to get back-to-back fours. He would flick Mukesh for four, before getting his fifty in 34 balls with a flat hit over long-off for six, continuing his good run in the tournament so far.

Jurel hit three boundaries to be Parag’s perfect partner in a 52-run stand off 23 balls for the fifth wicket before the former paddled a pacy delivery from Nortje to his stumps. Hetmyer hit a six and four on Mukesh’s missed yorkers before Parag turned the heat in the final over against Nortje in a stunning exhibition of stroke play.

Parag edged a four between Pant and short third-man, before nailing the pull between mid-wicket and mid-on for another boundary. He then lofted over long-off for six and opened the bat face late to get another edged four. Parag would leave people in awe by pulling a 144 kph delivery for six to take 25 runs off the final over and take RR past the 180-run mark.

Brief scores:

Rajasthan Royals 185/5 in 20 overs (Riyan Parag 84 not out, Ravichandran Ashwin 29; Axar Patel 1-21, Khaleel Ahmed 1-24) against Delhi Capitals

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