Perhaps the most pleasing element for Manoj Tiwary was the application he showed in Bengals 48-run win over Punjab at the Dhruve Pandove Stadium here.
In both innings, there was a lingering feeling that Bengal would throw the game away: it had as much to do with the pitch as with the indiscipline from the visiting batsmen.
Tiwarys twin fifties on the other hand were an exercise in self-preservation and gradual accumulation. He didnt bat through on both occasions but 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, said Tiwary after Bengal sealed its quarterfinal 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. 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.
Early in the match, the major obstacles for Bengals batsmen were on display on a spiteful pitch, and while they were there a wicket never seemed far away, a realisation that left Tiwary frustrated at times, by his own admission.
Its frustrating to see them throw away their wickets, especially after theyve 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 Im in the middle. I feel the other batsman doesnt necessarily have to go looking for a big shot if Im at the other end because over the years, Ive learnt to take the calculated risk and keep the scorecard ticking. Personally, a hundred on this wicket wouldve been really special but it is what it is, he said.
About Bengals run in this Ranji Trophy, 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 5 (of Elite A and B) but theres work to be done and everyone in the team is aware of it. At various stages in the Ranji Trophy, weve had different players putting their hand up which was good to see. Now that weve made it to the quarters, hopefully we will play well and go on to win the title.