Miller looking to lift Scorpions as first class season winds down

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand,  CMC – Left-arm spinner Nikita Miller says he is anxious to return to the cut and thrust of the Regional Four-Day Championship, and is hoping his recent international stint with West Indies will serve as personal inspiration for the remaining rounds of the competition.

The 35-year-old played his first One-Day International in nearly three years when he turned out in the final game of the three-match series on Boxing Day, which the Windies lost by 66 runs under Duckworth/Lewis.

With three rounds of the first class season remaining, Miller said it was important he hit the ground running once he returned to action with Jamaica Scorpions.

“There are three games left in the current first class season and I think we’re mid-table so I’m looking forward to going back and helping the team,” said Miller who captains the franchise.

“When I left home I was the leading bowler for my team and second in the league so hopefully I can go back and contribute some wickets and also some runs as well.

“When I left I had a half-century as well so hopefully I can take this experience at this level of facing Trent Boult in good form … and apply it to the first class season and prepare myself for the [World Cup] qualifiers.”

Miller has been limited to just two first class games, after missing the first three rounds as he recuperated from surgery. He then missed the last two rounds after being called up for West Indies duty.

However, he made a huge impact in the two matches he played, snapping up a whopping 23 wickets as Scorpions beat Leeward Islands Hurricanes and Windward Islands Volcanoes handily, to post their first wins of the season.

Miller said he was also focussed on performing well in the Regional Super50 as he eyed selection for the World Cup qualifiers in Zimabwe next March.

“There’s also the Super50 so I’m just looking forward to that in order to get proper practice so that if I’m selected for the qualifiers, I would be ready and prepared for that.”

Miller was a surprise call-up for the New Zealand series, especially after having been ignored since playing the last of 46 ODIs during the last World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.

In the third ODI at Hagley Oval here which was reduced to 23 overs per side because of rain, Miller claimed one for 26 and finished on 20 not out, as West Indies suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the series.

Despite the result, Miller said he was pleased with his performance.

“I felt really good to be back. It was a tough return, yes,” he conceded.

“First of all, the weather was very poor but in terms of the game I don’t think that we executed properly when we batted. New Zealand really batted well and they bowled well as well.

“In terms of my performance, I think I did ok with the ball and also with the bat so it was a pretty good return.”

The regional first class season resumes January 4 with the eighth round.

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