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, here today.
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) had earlier started off on a confident note as they put on 50 runs within the 12th over.
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