Mumbai, Nov 30: 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, here today.
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).
Today'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.
Plenty of fortitude
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.
Manoj's 151 is the second highest individual score in Deodhar Trophy after Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan's 158 for South Zone versus Central in Jaipur in 2004.
Manoj first upped the ante when he stepped out to offie Parveez Rasool hitting him for a six and a four off successive deliveries.
He then paced his innings to a nicety though he lost partners at regular intervals after putting on 60 for the third wicket with opener Shreevats (43 in 61 balls), to pull the stuttering innings around from 33 for two.
Tiwary reaches 100 off 93 balls
Manoj's 100 came off 93 balls, his third in List A cricket. Manoj raced from 100 to 150 off just 27 balls, striking 5 fours and 3 sixes with the last two overs bowled by Rishi Dhawan and Sandeep Sharma taken for 34 runs thanks to his belligerence.
North were never in the match save an odd-partnership between Punjab boys Mandeep Singh (40) and Gurkeerat Singh Mann (83), who added 74 runs for the fourth wicket.Mann also added 71 for the fifth wicket with Rishi Dhawan (38) but the partnership never looked threatening.
It was Lahiri, who bowled brilliantly in the middle overs varying his pace and maintaining tight lines. He also broke important partnerships removing Mandeep and Dhawan at the right time.
East Zone 273 for 8 (Manoj Tiwary 151, Shreevats Goswami 43, Sandeep Sharma 3/49, Rishi Dhawan 2/53)
North Zone 221 in 47.1 overs (Mandeep Singh 40, Gurkeerat Singh Mann 83, Rishi Dhawan 38; A Dinda 2/59, B Samantray 2/51, S Lahiri 3/41).