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Fingers crossed for another Riyan blitz

By IMTIAZ AHMED Almost written off by the team management after failing to deliver infour outings, Guwahati youngster Riyan Parag not only proved a point to establish his worth in the pink-and-blue brigade with a match-winning

By IMTIAZ AHMED

Almost written off by the team management after failing to deliver in
four outings, Guwahati youngster Riyan Parag not only proved a point
to establish his worth in the pink-and-blue brigade with a
match-winning unbeaten 42 off 26 balls in tandem with Rahul Tewatia
(45 not out), but also became the centre of all eyes in his home state
Assam overnight with his few steps of Bihu at the middle of the Dubai
International Cricket Stadium to celebrate Rajasthan Royals’ third win
in Indian Premier League Season 13.

Having been dismissed for 6, 0 and 1 in the first three matches of the
current league, the 18-year-old could add only 16 runs against Royal
Challengers Bangalore, only to be rested at the dugout against Mumbai
Indians and Delhi Capitals. The two-match layoff seems to have done
the trick for the gritty revelation of the previous season of the IPL.

It was invariably a treat for cricket buffs to watch the wristy
middle-order batsman’s style and power, with the icing on the cake for
his fans back home and many more being done to perfection Bihu after
the youngster crossed the crease and victory was achieved.

Undoubtedly though there is absolutely no room for complacence, as
many of his well wishers back home would agree. His father Parag Das,
a first class cricketer himself, will have none of it.

Bihu done, the real test now will lie in Riyan’s performance against
Delhi Capitals tomorrow and the remaining matches of the league.

With Assam still gaga over his instant expression of Assamese folk
with a gamosa kerchief tucked to his waist, tomorrow is a new day, and
one that his state and his country hope will go well. Even if it’s for
his Bihu.

Imtiaz Ahmed comes with over 22 years of experience in print journalism. A former special correspondent with The Telegraph, he is a veteran sports journalist, but enjoys writing on politics, law and order and current affairs concerning north eastern India.