Colombo: Jul 31, 2012
After being benched for 14 consecutive matches, Manoj Tiwary made an impressive comeback into the playing XI, grabbing a career-best four for 61 to restrict Sri Lanka to 251 for eight against India in the fourth ODI.
It was Tiwary whose effective leg-breaks accounted for Dinesh Chandimal (28), Angelo Mathews (14), Jeevan Mendis (17) and Thisara Perera (2) as he knocked the stuffing out of Sri Lankan middle-order after Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga added 91 runs for the opening stand.
Tiwary, who regularly bowls a few overs for Bengal in the domestic circuit was not afraid to flight the ball and also got a bit of turn as Mathews and Thisara realised after they were holed out in the deep trying to loft the leggie against the turn.
Chandimal was out in the deep mid-wicket region failing to make use of Tiwary's long-hop while Jeevan Mendis missed a straight delivery trying to go for reverse sweep.
The gamble of playing Tiwary as a leg-spinning all-rounder in place of Rahul Sharma worked well for Dhoni although he got a bit of stick in the final over, being hit for a couple of sixes and a four by Rangana Herath (17 not out) and Lasith Malinga (15 not out), who added 32 runs in the final three overs.
Dilshan (42, 48 balls, 7x4s) and Tharanga (51, 73 balls, 4x4s, 1x6s) started off on a confident note as they put on 50 runs within the 12th over.
India's new ball duo of Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan bowled atleast one loose delivery per over and both batsmen especially Dilshan dispatched those to the boundary ropes.
Tharanga was cautious to start with but when Dinda was introduced into the attack, the left-hander pulled him for a six. The openers added 91 runs in 18 overs before Dinda ultimately got rewarded for his short-pitched stuff as Dilshan's mistimed pull-shot ballooned up and Dhoni made no mistake.
India's slower bowlers also did a commendable job with R Ashwin being steady as ever with figures of two for 46 while Virender Sehwag bowled eight overs to return with decent figures of one for 38. Sehwag in fact removed Mahela Jayawardene cheaply.
After a near-century opening stand, the only other significant partnership at the top-order came from Lahiru Thirimanne (47) and Chandimal -- both of whom looked comfortable during their 50-run third wicket stand.
While Chandimal was dismissed by Tiwary, Ashwin's straight delivery castled Thirimanne ensuring that hosts don't put up a hige total. (PTI)
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 251 for 8 in 50 overs (Upul Tharanga 51, Lahiru Thirimanne 47, Tillakaratne Dilshan 42; Manoj Tiwary 4 for 61, Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 46) vs India