Miller time to shine at “beloved” Oval
Bridgetown, Barbados –Nikita Miller has been Jamaica’s trump card with the ball this year and he is looking to add to the bag of wickets he has taken this season. The wily left-arm spinner has been a handful for regional batsmen with 12 wickets at 14 runs apiece in the Regional Super 50 tournament.
He has been even more lethal in the Regional 4 Day tournament with an astonishing 38 wickets in five matches at the unbelievable of average of 7.36 runs per wicket. He is one of the main reasons why Jamaica have booked a place in the Final Four of the Regional Super50 tournament, which is being played this weekend at the historic Kensington Oval.
Jamaica face Windward Islands in the second semi-final on Friday at Kensington Oval, where Trinidad & Tobago face Combined Campuses & Colleges on Thursday in the first semi-final. The Grand Final will be played on Sunday, April 21 at the same venue. All matches start at 2:30 pm (1:30 pm Jamaica Time) and will be broadcast live on ESPN.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend,” Miller said. “I love playing at Kensington – it is one of my favourite grounds, one where I have had a lot of success. The atmosphere is always great. Sometimes, even when the ground is not full, it still has an awesome feeling. There is also a rich history and the conditions always make for a good contest.
“The Windwards have a strong team, they play very hard and will be a challenge. I like a challenge. I’m ready. When you look at how we have been playing, I guess people would say I’m a key player for Jamaica. We’re not a ‘one-man team’. We have a very good bowling attack and in the spin department we have Odean Brown, who on his day is dangerous as well,” Miller told WICB Media.
“What has been very pleasing this year is that two of the youngest players in the team, Jermaine Blackwood and Andre McCarthy, have been scoring some very good runs so this is great for the Jamaica team.”
Jamaica were champions in 2011 when they lifted the Clive Lloyd Trophy. This year they finished second in the preliminaries behind Trinidad & Tobago. In their last preliminary round match against Guyana, Miller was the batting hero with a last-ball six to win the match.
“In Guyana back in 2011 when we won, one of the main factors was a total team effort. In one of the matches we lost a few wickets and the game came down to the Number 11 who won it for us. If the batters don’t do the job the tail has to wag. If we go into a game and a key bowler can’t do the job, then a part-timer has to step-up. One hand must help the other. Whatever is happening on the day, whatever is required to take care of business, it has to be done. If you have to be scrappy to do it, you just have to get it done,” Miller said.
MATCH SCHEDULE AND MATCH OFFICIALS
T&T v CCC – Thursday, April 18
Umpires : Nigel Duguid, Patrick Gustard
Third official: Joel Wilson
Television umpire: Gregory Brathwaite
Match Referee: Mervin Jones
Jamaica vs Windwards – Friday April 19
Umpires : Joel Wilson, Gregory Brathwaite
Third official: Patrick Gustard
TV umpire: Nigel Duguid
Match Referee: Mervin Jones