Calcutta: He was the top-scorer (76) for Bengal in the final of last years Vijay Hazare Trophy, against Tamil Nadu.
On Saturday, Manoj Tiwary played the anchors role to perfection as he led Bengal to a four-wicket victory over formidable Karnataka in the semi-final in Vadodara, to set up a final date with, you guess it, Tamil Nadu.
Asked about his crucial knock at the Motibagh Palace Ground, the stylish right-hander said: I walked in at a difficult juncture todayů Dadi (Sourav Ganguly) had just been dismissed and soon after Arindam (Das), who was playing so well, perished. So, it was imperative for me to stay at the middle till the end of the innings to ensure victory. Im happy to have performed my role well.
The middle-order batsman also revealed that Rahul Dravid had a word of praise for him. He did congratulate and praise me for my innings, said Manoj.
Also elated was Laxmi Ratan Shukla, under whose captaincy Bengal have now made three successive Vijay Hazare finals.
It was an outstanding performance by the team. Arindam and Sreevats gave us a solid start and, then, Manoj was brilliant in seeing us through, he said.