Mumbai Skipper Manoj Tiwary continued his blazing form in domestic competitions with a magnificent 151 that powered East Zone to a comfortable 52-run win over North in the Deodhar Trophy semi-final in Mumbai on Sunday.
Courtesy Manoj’s career-best one day knock that came off only 121 balls, East scored 273 for eight in 50 overs. In reply, North were never in contention as a disciplined bowling effort saw them get all out for 221 in 47.1 overs.
Fittingly, it was the East Zone captain who winded up the innings with the wicket of Sandeep Sharma. Senior Bengal off-spinner Saurashis Lahiri (3/41) bowled brilliantly with able support from Biplab Samantray (2/51), Ashok Dinda (2/59) and Shahbaz Nadeem (1/34).
However the day belonged to Manoj, who certainly staked a strong claim to be included in the 30-member preliminary squad for the World Cup as well as a berth in the team for the tri-series Down Under.
In the past one month, Manoj has scored a century each in Duleep Trophy (vs West Zone), Vijay Hazare Trophy (130 vs Vidarbha)and now Deodhar Trophy (151 vs North Zone).
Sunday’s innings had 15 boundaries and four sixes. As usual, he was pretty severe on spinners, especially India discard Amit Mishra (1/60 in 9 overs) who was taken to task. Even Rishi Dhawan (2/53) and Sandeep Sharma (2/490, who were economical in the beginning were treated with disdain during the death overs.
North Zone captain Harbhajan Singh, didn’t take part in the match due to viral fever and throat infection.
Such was Manoj’s dominance, the next-best score in the East innings was 43 off 61 balls from glovesman Shreevats Goswami, who helped his captain in steadying the innings after a shaky start.
Chasing the stiff target North began poorly to be 29 for 3 before being shot out for 221 in 47.1 overs to leave East comfortable winners. Gurkeerat Singh Mann (83) was the highest scorer for the losers.
In the morning, Manoj showed plenty of fortitude and determination to pull his side out of the woods after they were put in to bat by North on a track offering assistance to the bowlers early on.