Rajasthan Royals youngster smashes the second fastest hundred in Ranji Trophy history
Rajasthan Royals' and Assam all-rounder Riyan Parag etched his name in cricket history by smashing the second-fastest century in the prestigious Ranji Trophy. His whirlwind hundred came off just 56 balls in Assam's Ranji Trophy 2024 season opener against Chhattisgarh. Parag's explosive batting was a crucial element in the game, as he managed to score a remarkable 155 off 87 balls, in a situation where support from the other end was sparse.
Riyan Parag's remarkable feat places him only behind Rishabh Pant, who holds the record for the fastest century in the Ranji Trophy, achieved in 48 balls against Jharkhand in the 2016-17 season. Parag's innings surpassed Madhya Pradesh's Naman Ojha, who held the second spot with a 69-ball century against Karnataka in the 2014-15 season.
The context of Parag's innings adds to its significance. Entering the crease with Assam struggling at 78/3, he immediately took the attack to the bowlers. Displaying a wide array of shots and scoring fluently around the park, Parag's aggressive approach never waned, even as he lost partners at the other end. His monumental effort of 155 runs was adorned with 11 boundaries and 12 towering sixes, propelling Assam to a total of 254 in Raipur.
🔥 Second-fastest Ranji hundred— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 8, 2024
💯 His highest score in FC
Assam’s rescue man, Riyan Parag 💗 pic.twitter.com/RZ1sSxdgv5
This innings was not just a personal milestone for Parag but also a testament to his growing stature in first-class cricket. This century marks his second ton in the format and his highest score to date. In his 26-game career, the young 22-year-old has accumulated 1,583 runs, averaging over 33. Not just a batting powerhouse, Parag has also proven his mettle with the ball, scalping 49 wickets with his off-spin, including a five-wicket haul.
Despite Parag's heroics, Assam faced challenges in the match. Chhattisgarh, riding on captain Amandeep Khare's 116 and Shashank Singh's 82, posted a competitive 327 in their first innings. Assam struggled initially, folding for 159, thanks largely to Sourabh Majumdar's five-wicket haul, and were asked to follow on. Denish Das put up a fighting half-century, but it was Parag's sensational century that saved Assam from an innings defeat, setting a target of 87 for Chhattisgarh.
Riyan Parag's scintillating century in such dire circumstances not only highlights his exceptional talent and potential but also reflects the depth and dynamism of Indian domestic cricket. As Assam looks forward to the rest of the season, Parag's performance will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration and a beacon of hope for the team's aspirations.