Miller’s plan works for Jamaica
Kingston, Jamaica -- Nikita Miller believes he won the mind game against Barbados and that allowed him to capture a 10-wicket match haul which led Jamaica to a commanding 120-run win in the second round of the Regional 4 Day tournament.
The left-arm spinner had the amazing match figures of 10 wickets for 49 runs. In the first innings he bowled 22-8-25-5 and followed up with 17.5-10-24-5 as Jamaica made it two wins in a row at their Sabina Park fortress. They defeated Windward Islands by 81 runs in the first round and now lead the Regional 4 Day points table with a maximum 24 from two matches.
“I had a clear plan going into the match. I planned for this game and executed the plan very well. The key was to be consistent … to create pressure on the Bajan batsmen. Barbados always play tough cricket and I knew I had to be mentally very strong against them as a well as tactically on top of my game,” Miller said.
For the 29-year-old, it was the third time in his career that he took a 10-wicket match haul. He now has 14 wickets this season at an average of 10.71. Overall in his career he has played 41 first-class matches with 182 wickets at 18.00 apiece.
“I knew the Bajans were not going to come out and just give their wickets away so I had to be patient. It was not easy. This is the third occasion I have collected 10 wickets in a match. I would rate this as the best match haul. I felt I bowled really, really well for my wickets. Added to that, we beat a very good team with some good players, so that makes it extra special.”
Miller added: “I was very consistent throughout, putting the ball in the right areas. I would say, on 95 percent of the occasions I forced the batsman into error - they did not give their wickets away. I felt I built the pressure and earned my wickets. The process brought me great joy. In both innings we had the left-hander Carter [Jonathan Carter] who played really well, but I was able to give him some problems and the pressure caused his downfall.”
Jamaica’s next match will be against Leeward Islands at Sabina Park, starting on Thursday. Miller said they will naturally be looking for another win. He outlined that his side’s batting is still a worry.
“Over the years Leewards, no matter how well or how badly they are playing, the Leeward Islands cricketers always put up a good fight against Jamaica. They are always a tough team to beat. We are not getting too excited and seeing them an easy side. We just have to play our cricket - hard cricket - and that should bring us the results we are aiming for,” Miller said.
“We are looking for an improved performance with the bat. So far we have seen some good individual performances but the aim is for every man to click at the same time as we look to post 300-plus runs.”
The winning team in the Regional 4 Day tournament will be awarded the Headley/Weekes Trophy in honour of West Indies greats George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.
Batting (Most Runs) - The Vivian Richards Award
Bowling (Most Wickets) - The Courtney Walsh Award
Fielding (Most Catches) - The Clive Lloyd Award
Allrounder (Leading Allrounder) - The Malcolm Marshall Award
Wicket-keeping (Most Dismissals) - The Deryck Murray Award
Most Promising Fast Bowler - The Andy Roberts Award
Upcoming matches - 3rd round: Thursday, February 16 to Sunday, February 19
Guyana vs Combined Campuses & Colleges at Warner Park, St Kitts
Barbados vs Trinidad and Tobago at Kensington Oval, Barbados
Bye - Windward Islands