IPL 2019: 17-year-old Riyan Parag wins thriller for RR, KKR lose 6 in a row

17-year-old Riyan Parag hit 47 and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Rajasthan Royals who defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 3 wickets at the Eden Gardens. Dinesh Karthik’s career-best 97 not out went in vain and KKR have now lost 6 matches in a row this season.

Rajasthan Royals were in serious trouble chasing 176 but Riyan Parag first joined forces with Shreyas Gopal and then with Jofra Archer to leave KKR’s fans at the Eden Gardens stunned. He was out hit wicket for 47 after he was hustled by the pace and bounce of Andre Russell.

RR needed 9 off 7 balls at that stage.

Jofra Archer hits M Prasidh Krishnia for 4 and 6 off the first 2 balls of the final overs as RR sealed only their 2nd victory over KKR at the Eden Gardens.

Kolkata Knight Riders had started the 2019 IPL strongly.

They had won 4 out of their first 5 matches this season before losing 6 in a row against Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals.

Incidentally, KKR had last won a game against Rajasthan Royals (in Jaipur) on April 7 before their losing streak began with a defeat to defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Chepauk in Chennai on April 7.

To make matters worse for the Knight Riders, Dinesh Karthik was woefully out of form after some fine performances in the 2018 IPL and Kuldeep Yadav was a broken man after the brutal assault by Moeen Ali at Eden Gardens. But KKR were determined to turn it around and they did it in style against Rajasthan Royals who are all but out of the tournament.

After Steve Smith won the toss and decided Rajasthan Royals would field first, KKR lost Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana and were reduced to 42 for 3 in 8.2 overs. Sunil Narine walked in at No.5 but he was run out after he had started to look good.

Andre Russell, the man who has often bailed KKR out with some fierce hitting down the order, appeared to struggle and was dismissed by West Indian teammate Oshane Thomas for 14. The onus, therefore, was on Dinesh Karthik to haul the team to a strong score.

And Dinesh Karthik responded like a true leader.

Even as he lost batsmen at the other end, Dinesh Karthik led the charge for the Knight Riders with some breathtaking strokeplay. He reached his 50 off 35 balls and then changed gears to help KKR collect 48 runs off the last 3 overs. Dinesh Karthik finished with 97 not out and it is now the 2nd highest score for KKR in the IPL.

Rajasthan Royals got off to an aggressive start courtesy Ajinkya Rahane but he was sent back for a 21-ball 34. Narine struck again to remove RR skipper Steve Smith. Meanwhile, Piyush Chawla dismissed Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes and Stuart Binny to leave the Royals reeling.

With the main batsmen back in the pavilion, it was up to 17-year-old Riyan Parag and Shreyas Gopal to lead a fightback for the Royals. From 98 for 5 in 12.3 overs, RR raced away to 122 for 5 in 15 overs as Parag and Gopal played sensibly to keep their team in the hunt. But M Prasidh Krishna removed Shreyas Gopal after the second strategic timeout to put the Royals under further pressure.

With the required rate rising constantly, Jofra Archer came out all guns blazing and even hit Sunil Narine for a huge six in his final over. But it was 17-year-old Riyan Parag who was in fact the key for Rajasthan Royals. Unlike some of the more senior pros, Parag kept his calm and hit Prasidh Krishna for a 4 and a 6 in the 18th over to leave his team needing just 18 off 12 balls.

Steve Smith was distraught when Riyan Parag was dismissed for 47 but Archer kept his cool and won it for the Royals.

Also Read | Riyan Parag, the boy who almost became IPL’s youngest half-centurion, loves soft toys

Also Read | Wish I was as confident as Riyan Parag at 17: Steve Smith


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