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Parag’s knock helps Rajasthan beat Delhi

Riyan Parag reached his 50 off 34 balls and cracked 25 runs with three fours and two sixes off the final over bowled by South African paceman Anrich Nortje

Rajasthan Royals’ Riyan Parag (R) plays a shot during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on March 28, 2024. (Photo by SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shajil Kumar

Riyan Parag’s unbeaten 45-ball 84 propelled Rajasthan Royals to 185-5 and sealed a 12-run win over the Delhi Capitals in Indian Premier League in Jaipur on Thursday.

Rishabh Pant-led Delhi won the toss and chose to field first and maintained a stranglehold over the game until the second half of the Royals’ innings.

Rajasthan lost both their explosive openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (5) and Jos Buttler (11) early and even batting mainstay, captain Sanju Samson, failed to convert his start and fell for 15.

With the team reeling at 36-3 in the eighth over, Rajasthan promoted India’s spin-bowling all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who built a crucial 54-run partnership with Parag.

Ashwin scored 29 off 19 balls and took the team to 90 before he was dismissed in the 14th over by India teammate Axar Patel.

Parag, who has been criticised in previous IPL seasons for his rash shot selection, kept the scoreboard ticking until after the 17th over.

The 22-year-old put together another key partnership with Indian wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel (20).

Parag, who reached his 50 off 34 balls, cracked 25 runs with three fours and two sixes off the final over bowled by South African paceman Anrich Nortje.

He was ably supported by West Indian Shimron Hetmyer, who hit an unbeaten seven-ball 14 that propelled the team to an impressive 185-5.

Samson praised player of the match Parag.

“Wherever I go, people ask me about him. There is something very special he can give to Indian cricket,” he said.

Patel was the standout bowler for Delhi and finished with 1-21 in his four over spell.

Delhi started their chase well with Australian openers Mitchell Marsh and veteran David Warner.

Marsh was removed after a 12-ball 23 in the fourth over by South African quick Nandre Burger, who also removed Ricky Bhui (0) in the same over.

But that didn’t stop Warner, who took the team to 59-2 at the end of the powerplay.

He was removed in the 12th over after a well compiled 34-ball 49, falling to young India fast bowler Avesh Khan.

Delhi subsequently fell behind the run rate before a late innings counterattack by South African Tristan Stubbs who finished with an unbeaten 23-ball 44.

Avesh bowled a tight last over to seal a 12-run victory.

Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal finished his three overs with 2-19 while Burger had 2-29.

Losing captain Pant said that he was “definitely disappointed”.

Pant, who hopes to make a comeback to the Indian team after his long injury layoff ahead of the T20 World Cup this summer, made 28 off 26 balls.

“The best thing to do from here is to learn from it,” he added. (AFP)

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