Manoj Tiwary: Dhoni’s dismissal the turning point

Manoj Tiwary admitted that Rising Pune Supergiant lost the plot mid-way and the former India captain’s dismissal changed the course of the match.

Jasprit Bumrah celebrates the wicket of M. S. Dhoni.   -  PTI

They could not speak to each other for more than an hour. Eyes moist and expressions gloomy — Manoj Tiwary and Steven Smith sat at one corner of the dug-out on Sunday night. Words fell short and it appeared as if their whole world had come crashing down.

Well, it did. For Tiwary, a one-run defeat in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final was yet to sink in. The batsman is yet to come to terms with the fact that they lost the match — which looked titled towards the Rising Pune Supergaint.

Read: Team work, intelligence key to IPL glory

“This defeat is hard to digest. It was a great opportunity that came our way,” he told Sportstar from Hyderabad. As he spoke, one could sense the disappointment in his voice.

On his way to the airport, Tiwary admitted that the side lost the plot mid-way. “To be honest, MSD’s (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) dismissal was the turning point. That changed the course of the match,” a dejected Tiwary said.

In a final, where Rising Pune Supergiant maintained dominance, Mumbai Indians bowlers bucked up at a time when it mattered the most.

Mumbai's night to remember

“In the middle, we lost that rhythm in batting and could not rotate the strike much. That made the difference,” Tiwary said.

Chasing a meagre 130, the Pune outfit looked all settled even after it lost Ajinkya Rahane in the twelfth over. The team’s score was 71-2 then, and the team management promoted the trusted Dhoni up the order.

“Low totals are often tricky,” Tiwary said, adding that as the run-flow lowered, the team took things till the final over.

“That hurt us the most. The Mumbai Indians bowlers utilised the situation and put the pressure back on us. We failed to convert good starts,” Tiwary said.

A forgetful final but a positive season for Manoj Tiwary...   -  AP

On personal front, this has been a decent season for the Bengal Ranji Trophy captain. Regaining the old rhythm, Tiwary cemented his place in the team. Despite losing his father during the tournament, he came back strong. But even he flattered to deceive in the final.

After sending Mitchell Johnson for a boundary in the first ball of the final over, Tiwary was dismissed by the Australian in the next delivery.

“The idea was to hit it over the mid-off, but that didn’t work,” Tiwary said, adding that he couldn’t even believe that his shot would straight land up in Kieron Pollard’s hands.

“In pressure situations, it is important to execute the plan well, which we could not. Now, I might be thinking that shot could have been played differently, but in cricket, every situation matters,” Tiwary pointed out.

IPL stars: Men who shone

He also drew reference to captain Smith’s dismissal in the next ball. Trying to go for a big one, the Australian was caught by Ambati Rayudu off Johnson.

“It was a cracker of a shot. Had it been some other time, it would have definitely cleared the ropes. But in that particular moment, Rayudu caught it going out of his comfort zone,” he said.

“Cricket is all about such uncertainties...”

That was certainly a lesson for Tiwary and the team.

“It was so close…” he chuckled. As the Mumbai Indians players celebrated their third title win, the firecrackers were bursting and celebrations overflowed.

But in one corner, Smith’s men were sitting quietly.

“We were sitting quietly. None of us could speak for that moment. But things changed once we reached the dressing room. We had to calm ourselves and move on,” Tiwary said.

With the season ending, there is one thing the Pune players have learnt the hard way — the importance of moving on!

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