In a thrilling showdown on Friday at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack, the spotlight shone on Rajasthan Royals' Riyan Parag. Leading Assam from the front, the 21-year-old scored a magnificent century in the final against Jharkhand, guiding his team to a phenomenal victory in the 2023 Bhairab Chandra Mohanty Memorial Cricket Tournament.
The contest began with Jharkhand's skipper, Virat Singh, electing to field first after winning the toss. However, Assam faced early adversity as their opening batters fell within the initial two overs, leaving them reeling at a precarious 20-2. It was at this juncture that their skipper took centre stage.
Batting at number four, Riyan seized the opportunity to steer Assam out of trouble. Despite facing a formidable Jharkhand bowling attack featuring renowned names like Shahbaz Nadeem, Anukul Roy, and Monu Singh, the youngster displayed composure. He accelerated his innings sensibly and consistently found the gaps to keep the scoreboard ticking. Riyan's half-century arrived in just 29 deliveries, providing much-needed stability to the Assam innings.
Riyan Parag (C) - 119 off 56 in a T20 final.🔥👏pic.twitter.com/tvFKuzyWPf— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) September 22, 2023
What truly stood out in Parag's remarkable innings was his calculated aggression. He took on the Jharkhand bowlers intelligently, ensuring that he didn't squander his wicket. At the end of the 17th over, the batter was tantalisingly close to his century, standing at an unbeaten 99 runs. It was Monu Singh who took the ball for the 18th over, but the Assam captain was swift to pounce on a low full-toss directed at his leg stump. With a magnificent flat-six, Riyan not only reached his century but did so in just 50 balls!
Despite his eventual dismissal in the following over, the damage was already done. Assam found themselves in a commanding position, posting a formidable total of 219 runs on the scoreboard. Jharkhand, in response, struggled to make headway, managing only 166 runs while losing eight wickets. Assam emerged victorious with a huge margin of 53 runs, securing the coveted tournament title. Riyan impressed with the ball as well, picking up two wickets and finishing as the Player of the Match and the Player of the Tournament.