By R Eswar
Chennai: Dec 11, 2011
Manoj Tiwary finally displayed his true potential as he scored his maiden century on a difficult track to help India reach a competitive 267 for five against the West Indies in the fifth and final ODI in Chennai on Sunday1.
The Bengal boy who has been in the fringes for quite some time and has never really done justice to his talent in the previous five ODI appearances, grabbed the opportunity with both hands to score 104 (126 balls, 10x4, 1x6) before he had retire due to cramps.
Coming out to bat in the first over of the match with India reeling at one for two, Tiwary conjured two important partnerships ---first with stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir (31, 41 balls, 2x4) for the third wicket and then 117 runs for the fourth wicket with Virat Kohli (80, 85 balls, 5x4).
With Virender Sehwag opting to rest, Gautam Gambhir won the toss and elected to bat. To his horror, Ajinkya Rahane (0) and Parthiv Patel (0) were dismissed of successive deliveries by Kemar Roach. Both deliveries kept low. While Rahane was trapped leg-before, Patel was played on by a delivery that kept very low.
The situation was certainly not conducive for someone who is yet to cement his place in the Indian ODI line-up with a highest score of 24 before this match.
However, Tiwary started off with confident drive through the mid-off region off Andre Russell's bowling.
With the pitch keeping on the slower side and the odd-ball shooting up, both Tiwary and Gambhir didn't take any undue risk and concentrated on taking singles hitting the odd boundary in between. Yet, the team's 50 came fairly quickly in the 11th over.
Gambhir-Tiwary duo added 83 runs for the third wicket before leg-spinner Anthony Martin got one to pitch on the leg-middle line and straighten to find the skipper plumb in-front.
The in-form Kohli got into the groove immediately as Manoj completed a much needed half century of 75 deliveries.
The Bengal skipper used his feet well against both offie Sunil Narine and Martins.
The Tiwary-Kohli duo played freely and also ran well between the wickets. As Manoj entered the 80's he started cramping up but manfully carried on.
Tiwary's best shot came when he effortlessly lifted Narine over long-off for a six. As he ran a few singles to reach 99, he was seen in extreme discomfort.
A deft glance off Narine brought up the magic figure as a completely drained looking Tiwary acknowledged the standing ovation given by his teammates. But soon after the completion of his landmark, he walked off the field.
Kohli, who had by then reached his 18th ODI fifty continued in company of Rohit Sharma (21, 3x4). Just when it looked that Kohli would get his second ODI century, he was holed out in the deep trying to go for a big hit.
Rohit was dismissed when he tried playing for the turn off Narine to get bowled. Suresh Raina (16) hit a few blows while comeback man Irfan Pathan (4) played out a maiden over which robbed India a chance of scoring another 10-15 runs.(PTI)
Brief Scores: India 267 for 6 in 50 overs (Manoj Tiwary 104*, Virat Kohli 80, Gautam Gambhir 31; Kemar Roach 2 for 46, Anthony Martin 2 for 47) vs West Indies