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Parag's magnificent 84 takes RR to 185 for 5 against DC

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Jaipur, Mar 28 (PTI) Riyan Parag struck a stunning 84 not out off 45 balls to single-handedly take Rajasthan Royals to 185 for 5 in their Indian Premier League match against Delhi Capitals here on Thursday.

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Parag, who made 43 in the Royals' previous match, took 25 runs off veteran South African pacer Anrich Nortje with scores of 4, 4, 6, 4, 6, 1 in the final over to hit his highest T20 score. His knock was studded with seven fours and six sixes.

He held the home side's innings together after they were invited to bat first. He shared 54 and 52 runs respectively with Ravichandran Ashwin (29) and Dhruv Jurel (20) after RR made a shaky start.

Royals captain Sanju Samson threatened to play another destructive innings after his knock of 82 not out in the win against Lucknow Super Giants as he struck three consecutive boundaries in the fourth over bowled by pacer Mukesh Kumar.

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But Samson nicked a Khaleel Ahmed delivery two overs later to DC captain and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant to get out for 15. RR were 30 for 2 by then as Mukesh Kumar had given DC their first breakthrough with the wicket of Yashasvi Jaiswal (5).

The Royals were in more trouble after wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav literally forced his captain Pant to take a review, which later proved to be successful, to dismiss Englishman Jos Buttler for a leg before wicket decision.

Ravichandran Ashwin came out to bat at number five and he lofted a Kuldeep delivery for a six to help RR reach 58 for 3 at halfway stage. He gave Nortje even a harsher treatment with two sixes in the next over that yielded 15 runs.

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Ashwin, however, could not cause a big damage as he holed out to Tristan Stubbs near the boundary ropes for a 19-ball 29.

After Ashwin did his job, Parag made his presence felt for the second match on the trot. He struck two boundaries and a six off Ahmed to take RR past 100 in the 15th over.

Next over, he struck a Mukesh Kumar delivery through the line to bring up his first fifty of this IPL in style.

Parag did not spare even Kuldeep as he sent a delivery off the wrist spinner over midwicket boundary.

After Jurel was out for a 12-ball 20 off the bowling of Nortje, Parag went ballistic with a flurry of boundaries to entertain the home crowd at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium. PTI PDS PDS ATK ATK

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