Sunday at the Eden Gardens did for Tiwary what Saturday at the Brabourne had done for Ambati Rayudu. The way the IPL has gone so far, both for young talent that briefly lost its way and for Kolkata, the theme tune could well be Redemption Song. After two frustrating years in Delhi, unsure of his moorings in a team full of strokemakers, Tiwary has come home, and the pumped-fist celebration on reaching his 50 said more than a thousand words could.
After hurting his ankle while turning for a run, Tiwary appeared to find even keener focus. The more Jacques Kallis glared, the harder he hit the ball. He blasted Kallis for 14 in the space of four balls in the fourth, including a powerful swipe over midwicket for six. Much of Bangalore's chances now depended on how effective their spearhead Dale Steyn was, but Tiwary crashed his second delivery over long-off for six more.
Even Anil Kumble wasn't spared, with a deft cut through point and a fine paddle sweep off a googly catching the eye. It helped that opposite him was one of Twenty20's most adept practitioners, Brad Hodge. By the time the partnership was broken, Kolkata needed just 35 from 50 balls, and the match was effectively over as a contest.
Three years ago, before the knee injury that ruined his chances of an ODI debut in Bangladesh, Tiwary was Indian cricket's man-in-waiting. But apart from the true cricket tragics, few will be able to tell you how his career has progressed since. In the space of 29 balls in front of his home crowd though, he reminded people that he too is a contender.