Saurabh Tiwary just can’t seem to catch a break. The flamboyant Jharkhand batsman scored an unbeaten century to guide Jharkhand to a huge seven-wicket win over Services for their second victory in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He cracked an unbeaten 102 off 103 balls with three fours and six sixes.
Yet, the Kalyani (West Bengal) crowd was not impressed, and they actually booed Tiwary for his efforts.
The reason: He is not MS Dhoni.
The former India captain is the star attraction in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the crowds have followed him for all the games. Earlier, Dhoni had slammed 129 to steer Jharkhand to a 78-run win over Chhattisgarh at the Eden Gardens.
However, thanks to Tiwary and Ishank Jaggi’s (116 not out off 92 balls; 10x4, 4x6) unbroken partnership of 214 runs, Dhoni did not have an opportunity to bat against Services.
Midway through the innings the crowd became increasingly agitated and started shouted ‘Saurabh Tiwary Hai Hai’.
However, he took it his stride, even acknowldeging the crowd after his ton, gesturing that they should ‘keep shouting’.
“We must understand that they’re emotional as Mahi bhai never played here...Being a professional I did not mind. We were subjected to much more sledging on the field,” Tiwary said after the match.
On his part, Dhoni came to the field after the win and waved to the crowd the boundary rope. Hundreds of people had come to the venue with passes to primarily to watch Dhoni and several more were gathered outside, unable to enter. The rooftops of the buildings surrounding the stadium were packed from early in the morning as well.
Sadly for the Kalyani crowd, Dhoni’s only contribution to the game was two run-outs and a caught-behind dismissal at the Bengal Cricket Academy in the small industrial township about 50 kilometres from Kolkata.