Praise for Tonge and Miller

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- West Indies fast bowler Gavin Tonge and slow bowler Nikita Miller have come in for praise following their brilliant performances against Pakistan in the opening ICC Champions Trophy match on Wednesday night at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.

Lower-order batsman, Miller played some magnificent strokes to all parts of the field to make a career-best 51 from just 57 balls. The 27-year-old right-hander came to the crease with the score at 47-7 and got off the mark with a spanking square drive. He hit six fours and a towering six over wide long-off.

The 26-year-old Tonge was superb with the ball in just his third ODI with figures of 4-25 from 10 overs as the Windies tried to defend 133. He uprooted Imran Nazir’s stump with his first delivery and then had Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf all well caught behind by wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton.

“I thought Tonge assessed the pitch very well and bowled exactly what was required. He demonstrated what is possible if you have the self-belief to perform at this level. He did what was asked of him and kept us in the game,” Williams said. “Miller was also very good at the bottom of our innings. He played within his limitations and picked the right balls to hit.”

Captain Floyd Reifer said he was proud of both players and the way they performed on the big stage.

“Tonge was brilliant and never looked tired. He just kept going and bowled with a big heart. It was the kind of performance that inspires a team and as you saw in the outfield, it gave all the other players a lift,” Reifer noted. “Miller held the innings together at the end there and gave us some hope. He is an intelligent cricketer and an experienced player and he adapted really well to what was a tough situation.”

The West Indies second Group A match will be against Australia on Saturday at the Wanderers. First ball is 9.30 am (3.30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/2.30 am Jamaica Time).