Young Riyan Parag stepped up when it mattered with a knock of 56 off just 31 balls helping Rajasthan Royals pick up their sixth win of IPL 2022 with a 20-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Tuesday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.
After being put into bat, RR were in all sorts of trouble at 68/4 when Parag walked into to bat and he added valuable runs with Daryl Mitchell and later with the lower-order to push RR’s total to a respectable 144/8 on a pitch RR captain Sanju Samson later described as “two-paced”.
Parag, 20, had been the target of social media trolls this season for his lack of performances for RR over the years, but with his performance, he shut down his critics. Skipper Samson also lauded the youngster stating that the team always had the belief in Parag and he delivered.
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“It is a really great win,” said Samson after the match, adding, “After the start in the first 15 overs, we had real belief and trust in someone called Riyan Parag. We have been backing him for the last three-four years and he just showed it to the world today.”
“I thought we were 10-15 runs short with no dew in the second innings. The pitch was turning and was two-paced, so 150-160 would have been a good total,” Samson said about the pitch which became tougher for batting in the second dig as RCB struggled throughout the chase and were eventually restricted to just 115. Samson also talked about how the team was looking forward to some match-winning contributions from the lower order.
“It was something we were waiting for, for the back end of our batting to win us matches. Almost everyone has put up a match-winning performance so far. The chat we had just before the second innings, was that when you are chasing 200 there is only one gear. But for such totals like 150, it was only a matter of putting pressure as the batsmen had to change gears,” he said. RR had so far been riding on the superlative season their opener Jos Buttler have had so far – he is the leading run-getter in the tournament with 499 runs in right matches including two three hundreds and two fifties to his name. Yesterday, Buttler went cheaply for just eight runs.
Samson also talked about the changes in the playing XI as per the conditions. RR left out Karun Nair, who had not got any decent game time in the middle-order as of yet, bringing in Kiwi all-rounder Mitchell, who contributed with 16 with the bat and also bowled one over, giving away seven runs. Another change that worked for RR was bringing in Kuldeep Sen, who had missed the previous games due to an injury suffered in the nets and he put in a match-winning performance, claiming 4/20 in 3.3 overs.
“The dressing room atmosphere is really important. We make a couple of changes according to the wicket and the opponent, but the communication is very important. Karun, for example, was left out just because we needed that one over from Daryl Mitchell, and he understands that, and he can come back in later,” Samson added.
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