We were struggling to get to 160 until the 19th and 20th overs, when MS bhai played outstanding shots, said Tiwary. © BCCI

We were struggling to get to 160 until the 19th and 20th overs, when MS bhai played outstanding shots, said Tiwary. © BCCI

Rising Pune Supergiant made it to the final of the Indian Premier League 2017, defeating Mumbai Indians by 20 runs in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday (May 16). MS Dhoni, whose pyrotechnics allowed Pune to add 41 runs in the last two overs, decisively shifted the momentum in Pune’s favour at the Wankhede Stadium.

Manoj Tiwary, who played his part with a fine 48-ball 58 in Pune’s 162 for 4, heaped praise on the famed wicketkeeper-batsman, who finished with an unbeaten 26-ball 40 on a sluggish surface .

“The momentum shifted during the last two overs,” Tiwary said. “Initially when I was batting with Ajinkya (Rahane), there was a strategic time-out. The coach and the captain, the four of us, decided that we can take the total to 160. We were struggling to get there until the 19th and 20th overs, when MS bhai played outstanding shots. It was not easy against (Jasprit) Bumrah, but he showed why he is such a highly talented player and with so much of ability to hit the best bowlers in the IPL.”

Tiwary shed light on his own approach, which has brought him 317 runs from 14 games this season at a respectable average of 35.22, saying his role in the side is situational.

“My role is, if a couple of wickets fall in the, Power Play then I have to go in,” he revealed. “If a partnership builds, then I have to come down (the order) because Ben Stokes was there, MS bhai was there, so mentally I was prepared because I was given this role.

“Before coming to the IPL, I had a plan of striking at a higher strike-rate but coming here, I was given this role. But I always plan depending on what kind of situations I am going in, so I play accordingly. Luckily, everything is coming off except a couple of bad scores prior to this game but pretty happy with the way I’ve been contributing and just want to continue doing that in the final as well.”

Tiwary, however, stressed that it was not individual efforts but collective performances that have propelled Pune to the final.

“Each player has peaked at the right time and performed whenever they’ve got an opportunity. So I think it’s a collective effort, to be honest, because at the end of the day, the players have to perform on the field to get the results,” Tiwary said. “If you go back and have a look, each and everyone has contributed, whether it’s batting, fielding or bowling.”

Parthiv Patel, who scored a valiant 40-ball 52 even as the rest of the Mumbai batting floundered, felt 160 was a par score but that Mumbai lost their way by losing wickets in a clutch after the Power Play.

“This was probably a par score, we were thinking 160, but we lost too many wickets after the first six overs,” Parthiv said.

Having comfortably topped the league stage of the tournament with 10 wins from 14 game, the emphasis for Mumbai will be to focus on Friday’s Qualifier 2, which they wull contest against the winners of Wednesday’s Eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders.

“We have another chance because we’ve played well throughout the tournament and that is the reason we’ve got another chance of playing (against) the Eliminator winner,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“It is very important to forget about what has happened today and treat the next game as a semifinal.”