Rest of India batsman Manoj Tiwary left the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium here on Monday cursing his luck.
The fifth and final day of the Irani Cup was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to wet outfield, following heavy overnight rains.
The title was awarded to Rest of India for their 30-run first innings lead over Mumbai.
Tiwary missed out on what would have been his 10th first-class century.
The Bengal left-hander was batting on 80 in Rest’s second innings total of 352 for four on Sunday night.
“Am obviously disappointed at not being able to get those 20 extra runs for the hundred,” Tiwary told Hindustan Times. “A century at the start of the season increases the confidence level for the rest of the season. But that's okay.”
Tiwary was very well aware of his impressive conversion rate whenever he reached a fifty. In 32 first-class matches before this, the 23-year-old had only three fifties but nine centuries. He might have had his 10th hundred had he played his natural game, which was to play his strokes rather than get into a shell.
“I was thinking about the good conversion rate I have. I wanted to get my 10th century rather than end up with a fourth half-century. Never mind. There is nothing you can do about the weather. I have a lot of Ranji Trophy matches coming and build up my long innings there.”
Tiwary had to play according to the situation when he joined S. Badrinath in the middle on the fourth day on Sunday. “The pitch was very slow. The outfield was slow. We had lost two quick wickets (of Murali Vijay and Abhinav Mukund) when I went in. The idea was to keep Mumbai on the field for long. Physically also, I was weak. I was all the more determined to stay in the middle rather than look for runs.”
Luck has not been favouring the gifted batsman in his career. In his international debut, he received a toe-crusher from Brett Lee in the VB tri-series in 2008, and did not play again for India again. Injuries before major tournaments have stalled his career, forcing him to return from Dhaka with a tear on his right shoulder in 2007 and an injured left-hand in his second match ruling him out of the remaining of the 2009 IPL in South Africa.
“Injuries at crucial phases have stalled my progress,” he said. “A lot of things have happened to me before a major tournament. But all those have made me more mature and my motto now is to go out and hit the ball and score runs. I am ready to come back into the Indian team.”
With Bengal back in the Super League of Ranji Trophy, Tiwary could hope for recognition from the selectors, of course with the backing of big scores.
“At times, when playing in the Plate Division, I used to wonder if my scores would count for national selection.”
Tiwary was frank as he prepared to leave for Delhi in the evening to be part of the Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League.
“Am happy that Bengal is back in the Super League and am eager for the challenges ahead.”