Riyan Parag hits back-to-back half-centuries for Rajasthan Royals

Hardik Pandya’s stint as Mumbai Indians’ captain at the Wankhede stadium began with the home fans booing him at the toss. Such was the level of acrimony that Sanjay Manjrekar had to ask the spectators to ‘behave’ at the toss.

Hardik walked out to bat in the fourth over and slapped a triplet of fours off Nandre Burger in the sixth over. 29 runs came in the three overs after the PowerPlay, with 18 off them coming from the MI skipper in just 10 balls. Hardik perished to the wily Yuzvendra Chahal when he mistimed an attempted big hit to long on, falling for 34 off 21, 24 of which came in boundaries.

He launched a counterattack to give Mumbai Indians something to play with after Trent Boult did what he does best – snaring a wicket in the first over of the innings. He also had Rohit Sharma caught behind, and then trapped Naman Dhir leg before. With that, he amped up his tally of first-over wickets in the Indian Premier League to 25. After that, MI collapsed like nine pins and were restricted to 125/9.

After all the unflinching support he has received from the Rajasthan Royals think-tank over the years, this has been a season of repaying that faith as Riyan Parag kept up the good work in IPL 2024. On a Wankhede wicket that assisted bowlers, Rajasthan Royals lost Yashasvi Jaiswal early in the chase and then Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler got out in quick succession to leave the team in a spot of bother at 48/3.

Although the target was not that big, MI had a sniff but Parag quashed any hopes the hosts held with his well-paced innings of 54 not out in 39 deliveries, which included five fours and three sixes.

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England v West Indies 2024
ENG v WI 3rd Test, Edgbaston
26th July to 30th July
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