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Umesh Yadav opens batting for Vidarbha in Syed Mushtaq Ali game vs Karnataka; survives two balls

Umesh had hit a 12-ball 26 against Mumbai in the previous match coming in to bat lower down the order.

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Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

His best batting average is less than 15 (first-class cricket) while the highest score in international cricket is 30 which though has come in a Test match against Australia in Brisbane. But his overall moderate figures in batting did not stop Umesh Yadav’s team Vidarbha, a confident side after their second successive Ranji Trophy title recently, from pushing him to open the innings in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.

Vidarbha sent Umesh with teenager Atahrva Taide to open the innings against Karnataka in a Super League game in Indore on Tuesday after Karnataka captain Manish Pandey won the toss and elected to field. Tail-enders pushed up the order to accelerate scoring is not something new but witnessing Umesh open the batting innings was no less than a surprise. The Indian pacer didn’t survive the first over and fell immediately after hitting Vinay Kumar for a boundary.

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It was the first time in his cricket career spanning over a decade that Umesh batted in the top five of a match. His 12-ball 26 against Mumbai in the previous match and seven not out off two in the game before against Uttar Pradesh might have encouraged the team management to promote him in the tie against Karnataka.

With only two fielders allowed outside the 30 yards circle in the first six overs, all batting sides aim to promote a bowler earlier in the batting order to make the maximum of the restrictions on the ground and add bonus runs before the actual batsmen play the middle overs. Caribbean Sunil Narine has succeeded in this role for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

Vidarbha lose by 6 wickets

Vidarbha’s plan to play a gamble with Umesh didn’t click and their entire batting line-up managed just 138 for 7 in 20 overs which Karnataka overhauled losing just 4 wickets and with four balls to spare. Umesh also opened the bowling attack but went expensive and got the wicket of national discard Karun Nair.

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