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Manoj Tiwary fought a lone battle at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium as the Kolkata Knight Riders failed to breach the Rajasthan Royals’ fortress. The Bengal player scored 59 off 49 balls in the visitors’ unsuccessful chase of 165 after KKR fielded first upon winning the toss.
In a brief chat with iplt20.com Tiwary spoke about the game.
On the target
We had to keep wickets in hand early on, but unfortunately too many wickets fell in the beginning, so it was difficult to get a partnership going. I tried to hang in there because wickets were falling at regular intervals at the other end. So it made our task much harder as well. We lost too many wickets up front. On whether KKR had a plan for restricting RR to a certain total after asking them to bat first
No, nothing like that, but all teams will want to restrict the opposition to a minimum. They too have good batsmen in their team who have played well today. Brad Hodge played a very good innings in the middle. Until he came, we had a check on the flow of runs. But because of his knock, they could reach that total [of 164]. On the turning point of the match given that KKR bat deep
The turning point was that we lost wickets regularly from the beginning. If we hadn’t lost wickets, then we would have had partnership, we would have had wickets in hand. And if you have wickets in hand, then in the last five overs, you can even score 60 [odd runs]. If you don’t have wickets in hand, how will you chase? We couldn’t chase down the target because we lost wickets early. On the wicket
The wicket is very good to bat on. Very few grounds have such good wickets to bat on. We have seen lot of grounds have slow wickets [....]. This was a placid wicket. We lost wickets so we couldn’t reach the target. On whether they had a plan for Ajinkya Rahane or Rahul Dravid
We did have plans for everyone. Rahul bhai also got out and Ajinkya also got out, so the flow of runs was in check. But Brad Hodge played a good knock and then Owais Shah also played well at the end.
On plans to regroup
The plan is that we will sit together as unit and have a meeting and see where the faults are, and try and improve on those. It is important to win matches. So we hope to put up a good performance in Bangalore and win the game there.
He may have missed out on a half-century, but Ashok Menaria played a mature innings to help the Rajasthan Royals post a competitive total on a good batting track against the Kolkata Knight Riders. The 21-year-old’s 30-ball 40 even earned him high praise from RR’s Raj Kundra.
“He is one of the best players in my squad,” said the RR co-owner after the home team beat KKR here today. “Well done, keep it up,” Kundra told Menaria after asking him to go for a half-century next time he took strike. After the match, Menaria spoke to iplt20.com.
Excerpts from his chat with iplt20.com:
On RR continuing their winning streak at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium
Yes. This time our batting is clicking better. In the last match we made 190-odd runs and today again 170-odd, so the batting is better. Our middle order is stronger this time. On whether the wicket is aiding RR
Yes obviously. We have been playing cricket here for the last one month. We have played about 15 practice matches here, while the new team comes and plays the one game here, so we do get a bit of benefit out of that.
On whether his form in domestic cricket has helped him to carry forward the momentum in IPL 2012
Yes obviously. If you score runs in domestic cricket, then having those runs behind you gives you moral support and so your confidence level is different [better]. So it is always good having runs behind you when you play the next game. On whether there was a change in batting strategy after RR lost couple of early wickets, including that of Ajinkya Rahane
No. My role in the team is to play cricket the way I know to play. If I feel I have to hit a ball, I can hit it and if I feel I should defend it, I can [do] that. The team does not put any pressure on me. That is the best thing for me in this team.
On whether he and Brad Hodge had a strategy or target in mind while batting
No. We were only discussing and deciding who will hit which bowler. The ones he found difficult, I was hitting, and the ones I found difficult to negotiate, he hit. Hodge was hitting the incoming bowlers like Yusuf bhai [Pathan], scoring sixes and fours off them. And that helps when you are batting with big players [like Hodge]. On missing his fifty
More than scoring the fifty, it is important whether your team is winning or losing. Like in the last match, Ajinkya was also batting for the team [when he missed out on his hundred]. On whether they had a plan for Brett Lee
No. On whether 160-odd is a minimum target for RR, since they haven’t lost after scoring those many runs
We don’t think anything like that. After seeing the wicket, we decided what would be a par score on this track and try to get to it.
On their plan for defending the total against a good KKR batting line-up
We had only decided to vary the bowling as much as possible, and our bowlers bowled well, and ensuring that we don’t bowl to a particular batsman’s strengths. Like we know, that Yusuf Pathan will hit sixes off the off-spinner. So we brought in the off-spinner much later into the attack. On Kevon Cooper
He is a good player. He is good fielder, good bowler and a big hitter of the ball. He keeps the team motivation high. He is always energetic, so that makes a difference on the field. On his expectations from the IPL going ahead
Not only for me, but for all youngsters IPL is a big platform. If you perform well you will play for India, so this is a big platform.