Perhaps the most pleasing element for Manoj Tiwary was the application he showed in Bengal’s 48-run win over Punjab at the Dhruve Pandove Stadium.
In both the first and the second innings in Patiala, there was a lingering feeling that Bengal would throw the game away: it had as much to do with the pitch as with the failure of discipline from the visiting batsmen.
Tiwary’s twin fifties on the other hand were an exercise in self-preservation and gradual accumulation. He didn’t bat through on both occasions, but he ensured Bengal got out of tight corners.
“I was confident since I had scored runs in the first innings. The aim was to hang in there and not throw my wicket away,” Tiwary said after Bengal sealed a Ranji Trophy quarterfinals berth.
“Even (Arun) Lal sir had asked us to not play any rash shots. Players either defend or play aggressively on a surface like this (in Patiala). I have trusted my defence for longer periods of time and knew that if I judged the length and flight of the spinners correctly, then it would be difficult to get me out.
“And you, of course, have to make the most of the loose deliveries, it was all about having a positive intent,” he Tiwary added.
“It’s frustrating to see them throw away their wickets, especially after they’ve done all the hard work. See, a lot of these guys are still young and will learn from their mistakes.
“I just want them to pick up on these things sooner than later because if you keep making the same errors match after match, then it takes a toll on your game.
“As an experienced campaigner, I try to anchor the innings whenever I’m in the middle. I feel the other batsman doesn’t necessarily have to go looking for a big shot if I’m at the other end, because over the years I’ve learnt to take the calculated risk and keep the scorecard ticking. Personally, a hundred on this wicket would’ve been really special, but it is what it is,” he said.
About Bengal’s run in this Ranji Trophy season, Tiwary noted, “Things are falling in place for us this season, but we are yet to play to our full potential. The points table might say we are in the top five (of Elite A and B), but there’s work to be done and everyone in the team is aware of it. At various stages in the Ranji Trophy, we’ve had different players putting their hand up, which was good to see. Now that we’ve made it to the quarters, hopefully we will play well and go on to win the title.”