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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
DreamCricket.com is wrapping up the year in United States Cricket by recognizing USA’s standout performers at the international level. The 2012 New Inning Foundation Batsman of the Year is Sushil Nadkarni. The 36-year-old Houston resident follows Aditya Thyagarajan in 2010 and Steven Taylor in 2011 as previous recipients of the award.
The opener was USA’s leading scorer in both Twenty20s and 50-over matches in the calendar year. Nadkarni captained the USA squad at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in the UAE and led the team with 187 runs in eight matches at an average of 23.37. His high score was 59 off 47 balls in a 30-run win over Oman, an innings that included three fours and four sixes.
At ICC World Cricket League Division Four in Malaysia, Nadkarni finished as the tournament’s leading scorer overall despite playing just five matches. Nadkarni racked up 238 runs at an average of 47.60 including two half-centuries. He top scored in USA’s opening match of the tournament, 73 off 96 balls opening the batting in a 70-run win over the host side Malaysia. His performance set the tone for USA’s successful tour in which they gained promotion to ICC WCL Division Three in Bermuda next April.
Image (right) - Nadkarni completes a cut shot against Malaysia on his way to top scoring with 73 in USA's 70-run win to open ICC WCL Division Four in September. [Courtesy: Peter Della Penna/DreamCricket.com]
Across all formats, Nadkarni scored 425 runs on the year in 13 innings, narrowly finishing above Steven Taylor who tallied 413 runs although Taylor batted in four more innings than Nadkarni. His highest score of the year was an 84 off 106 balls with five fours and three sixes against Nepal in Malaysia.
Perhaps most impressive was the fact that of the 13 matches Nadkarni played in 2012, he top scored for USA in seven of them.
In recognition of his achievement, Nadkarni will receive a plaque as well as a $250 DreamCricket.com Pavilion Shop gift certificate sponsored by New Inning Foundation.