17-year-old Riyan Parag staged his debut in the Indian Premier League 2019 with a scintillating performance, hitting 47 off just 31 balls at the Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata on Thursday. He led Rajasthan Royals to a three-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders in the match 43 of the ongoing T-20 campaign. Following his display, the Assam born batsman was hailed by his skipper Steve Smith.
“Riyan Parag .. isn’t he an impressive young man? He played very composed like a seasoned campaigner,” said Smith during the post-match presentation.
From 98/5 in 11 overs to 177/7 in 19.2 overs, Rajasthan almost pulled off an unthinkable as Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer steered them a brilliant three-wicket win over. Parag (47) showed terrific composure and batted with composure and took the visitors close to the win. It was a fantastic win in the end for the tourists, especially taking into account the position they were in after losing the best players rather early.
The Powerplay belonged to Rajasthan despite losing Ajinkya Rahane. However, later the tide completely swung in Kolkata’s favour. Their spinners, Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine, ran through the top order and allowed others to chip in and eat into the tail. All seemed lost but young Parag had other ideas in mind. He stitched a few solid stands but the main one came with Archer (44 runs off 21 balls) where they just scored freely. Parag departed for 41, but Archer hung around and gave the finishing touches for the Royals, with 4 balls still to spare.
Speaking on the match, Smith said: “Oshane did well in his first game. Varun Aaron was exceptional with the new ball. The boys did a great job,” said Smith, adding, “There was some really good shots from DK, who played a terrific inning”.
“We made it difficult for ourselves. We lost too many wickets in the middle section after a good start. Happy to get over the line. The first 5-6 games, we weren’t able to creep over the line. It’s good to creep over the line tonight,” he added.
“We lose a few players now. Jofra and Stokesy are off tonight, they go back to England now – two big holes to fill. I am here for 13 games. After the Bangalore one, I’ll be heading back. Hopefully, I can contribute and see if we can get few more wins,” he added>
The victory now takes Rajasthan Royals to seventh on the points table. However, the departure of Archer and Stokes for national duty will be another major problem for them to tackle.