Miller’s time! - J’can spinner relishing comeback in 4-day tourney

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Monday, February 20, 2012

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OUT-OF-FAVOUR West Indies spinner Nikita Miller is relishing his comeback to form in this season’s regional four-day cricket tournament after another impressive showing in Jamaica’s win over cellar team Leeward Islands over the weekend.

The 29-year-old followed up a 10-wicket haul against Barbados in the second round, with seven wickets against Leewards and helped Jamaica to an innings and 201-run victory.

Miller is confident that good performances will not go unnoticed by the regional selectors.

"I’ve been consistent this season and I’m in good bowling form. I know that once I’m getting wickets and bowling well there will always be an opportunity (to be recalled to the West Indies team). For the moment I just have to concentrate on doing my job for Jamaica. Once I can contribute to the team winning I’ll be happy," he said on Saturday.

The Melbourne CC left-arm orthodox slow bowler has played one Test, 37 one-day and seven Twenty20 matches for the West Indies between 2009 and 2011, but was overlooked for a central retainer contract for this season.

However, his wicket-taking heroics has helped to push the defending champions to three straights wins as they seek a fifth consecutive triumph in the domestic first-class competition.

Miller chose to focus on the success from a team perspective.

He pointed out the importance of Odean Brown’s devastating nine wicket match haul, Donovan Pagon’s big hundred, as well as useful knocks of 70 and 51 from captain Tamar Lambert and David Bernard, respectively.

"Odean bowled well, but unfortunately didn’t get a 10-for. Our batters needed to step up in this game and they did that. Donovan Pagon made a century and there were good knocks from the captain and David Bernard," added Miller.

Leeward Islands coach Stuart Williams noted the Jamaican’s business-like display, and conceded that the team’s batting is quite limited since it is led by the inexperienced Kieran Powell, who struck a composed 55 in the match.

"Jamaica were professional. It’s a professional unit and some of these guys I played against them as a player so they have that foundation.

"We are a work-in-progress because it’s a young team. Kieran Powell is 21-years-old and he is basically the main batsman in the Leeward Islands set-up. We are going to keep fighting and we are going to keep trying but it’s a very inexperienced team," said the former West Indies opener.

Jamaica next play Guyana in a day/night match in Antigua on Friday, while Leewards will have a break until they host the Windward Islands starting March 9.




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