Cricket

That funny, unfamiliar, unforgotten feeling!

Knight Riders' Miller finds it 'strange' to play against his beloved Tallawahs

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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Left-arm finger spinner Nikita Miller says while it was “strange” going up against former team Jamaica Tallawahs at Sabina Park, he has enjoyed representing Trinbago Knight Riders in the Hero Caribbean Premier League.

Miller, Jamaican-born and the captain of the Jamaica franchise in last season's regional four-day and 50-over championships, took the early wicket of Glenn Phillips on Saturday as the Tallawahs fell for 172-7 in response to the Knight Riders' mammoth 208-6.

“It's a bit strange playing against Jamaica — it's the first time actually that I've played against Jamaica in Jamaica. I played against Jamaica in St Kitts, but it wasn't as strange as it felt yesterday Saturday, walking out at Sabina Park, my home ground,” Miller, 35, told the Jamaica Observer.

“That feeling, because I'm not walking out for Jamaica, it's a bit different, but I really do enjoy playing for Trinbago Knight Riders — we're like a family,” continued the man who made his first-class debut for Jamaica in 2005.

He noted the significance of getting the breakthrough right after being entrusted with bowling the first over of the Tallawahs' innings.

“It was very important to get that early inroad as we know as a team that if we get a very good start we can set them back a bit, knowing that's a big total and they are going to come [out] guns blazing. We just needed to stay in the contest and things would be difficult for them going into the latter stages of their innings.”

The Tallawahs appear short in the bowling department with the loss of left-arm spinners Imad Wasim and Shakib Al Hasan midway the tournament.

Shakib, who is also an enterprising middle-order batsman, is on Test duty with Bangladesh, while the Pakistani Imad is under contract to participate in that country's national Twenty20 tournament.

Against the Knight Riders, five bowlers delivered their maximum allotment of four overs each, even though all were on the expensive side as Brendon McCullum laid siege to a blistering 91. The Tallawahs' all-rounder Rovman Powell took 2-38. It's a far cry from last season when the Tallawahs had bowling choices galore.

The Trinidad-based franchise benefits from that kind of luxury this campaign. They utilised seven bowlers on Saturday with pacer Javon Searles starring with 3-27.

“I think the balance is very good and when you look at Jamaica Tallawahs last season and the variety they had in their attack, they had a lot of options. For us, we've filled the gaps in that department and people are stepping up; we're playing as a team and we are not depending on a particular individual,” Miller told the Observer.

“[Having] five bowlers is very difficult, but they [the Tallawahs] are a good team and they could have got those runs if they didn't lose so many wickets, and all in all it was a good game,” the spinner further explained.

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