Spin bowler Nikita Miller is hopeful that another breakout season in the WICB First-Class League will be able to propel his career to another level. At present, the leading wicket-taker with 48 wickets after seven rounds of matches in the 10-round tournament, Miller is again on course to top the bowling charts, something he has been doing consistently for the past nine years. ONE OPPORTUNITY However, for all his regional dominance and subsequent WICB/WIPA Cricketer of the Year awards, the 33-year-old has only ever got one opportunity to prove himself for the West Indies at the Test level. That Test appearance came against Bangladesh when he was drafted among a group of replacement players following the withdrawal of senior players over payment contract disputes in 2009. In that match, he went wicketless for 67 runs off 22 overs, an economy rate of 3.04. Since then, left-arm bowler has only featured in one-day and Twenty20 Internationals. “I am not somebody who dwells on those things too much, as I can’t control it,” Miller outlined, after claiming seven for 69 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in their first innings at Sabina Park. The haul was his 22nd five-wicket haul at the first-class level. “What I can control is what I do for Jamaica when I get the ball to do my thing. Whenever I go into a tournament, I look to get the most wickets everytime,” he declared. In 46 one-day internationals, Miller has taken 46 wickets at an average of 36.80 and an economy rate of 4.65. In Twenty20, he played nine matches for the Windies and claimed 11 wickets at an average of 20.36 and an economy rate of 7.07. But why have regional selectors not picked him for Test matches or even as a regular member of their one-day or Twenty20 outfits? REPRESENTING THE WEST INDIES “I am one of the few privileged players to have represented the West Indies, and it is always an honour to play for the team,” stated Miller, who has claimed 386 first-class wickets at an average of 16.93 and impressive economical rate of 1.96. Regarding claims that he should be selected, Miller said: “I have heard that, but I don’t want to comment. You just have to accept what the position is and what decisions are made.” He added: “I am one that believes that once a player is there, he should be given his opportunity to do what he is doing. “There is Warrican that is there now, and he should be given the opportunity to do what he has been doing. “If it doesn’t work out, then you can make your changes. But for now, I am comfortable performing for Jamaica, and wherever that takes me, I am happy.”
Chelsea won 2-1 at Southampton on Tuesday to extend their unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier League six wins and six draws to 12 games. But they have already lost four at home, a fifth would represent their most Stamford Bridge defeats since 1995-96. On Wednesday, Stoke beat Newcastle 1-0 with a late goal from Xherdan Shaqiri to move into seventh place.EVERTON VSWEST HAMEverton are unbeaten in their past eight Barclays Premier League away games but at Goodison Park they have won just four; they need to win three of their remaining five home games to avoid setting a new low for home successes. On Wednesday, West Ham beat Tottenham 1-0 with a Michail Antonio goal to move into sixth place.NEWCASTLE VSBOURNEMOUTH,Bournemouth beat English south-coast neighbours Southampton 2-0 at home on Tuesday with the Cherries keeping consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season. The Cherries have met Newcastle just three times in the league and lost all three. In their only previous visit to St James’ in the league, in September 1989, they lost 2-1 and when the teams met at Bournemouth earlier this season they lost 1-0.SOUTHAMPTON VSSUNDERLAND,Saints have won seven and lost five of their 14 home games. If they win each of their remaining five games at St Mary’s they will set a club record of 12 home Premier League victories. Their previous best was 11, set in 2000-01 and again last season. Sunderland have already conceded a massive 37 away goals in 14 away games, just two fewer than their record in the Premier League (39 conceded in the 1999-00 campaign).SWANSEA VSNORWICHThe Swans have won just four home games; their previous fewest home league wins is six (in 2012-13 and 2013-14) and they have just five games in which to avoid setting a new club record in the Premier League. Norwich, meanwhile, have lost 10 and drawn two of their 14 away games but when the teams met at Carrow Road in November, the home side won 1-0 with a goal from Jonny Howson.CRYSTAL PALACE VSLIVERPOOLCrystal Palace have now gone 11 games in the Barclays Premier League without a win; their last victory was in December at Stoke, while they last won at home against Southampton, also in the last month of last year. But Palace have won their last three league games, home and away, against Liverpool and are unbeaten in the last four.
John-Ross Campbell’s century has put Melbourne in pole position to beat the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in their Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup quarter-final clash at Up Park Camp.Sent to bat, Melbourne capitalised on a flat wicket by posting 423 for seven before declaring early in the post-tea session on yesterday’s first day.The JDF, back-to-back defending champions, thereafter closed the day on 45 for one, 388 runs behind.The hard-hitting Campbell, batting in the unfamiliar position of number seven as a result of what coach Robert Samuels said was a team decision, scored an unbeaten 115. His knock included seven fours and a six.Fellow Jamaica batsman, Andre McCarthy, 67; Sadiki Bolt – the brother of sprint icon Usain Bolt – 63; and opener Trevon Griffith of Guyana, 46, also scored well for Melbourne.There was also 40 from United States batsman Steven Taylor, who was playing in his second game for Melbourne.RETURNINGFROMINJURYNational left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli, with four for 90, led the bowling for the army men, with Sheldon Cottrell, returning from a knee injury, ending with none for 51 off five overs.National opener Jermaine Harrison, 21, is the batsman to be dismissed so far for the soldiers.Joseph Palmer, 21, and Rasheed Outar, 12, will resume batting on today’s second and final day.”I think we are ahead in the game as we have a good amount of runs,” said Melbourne’s captain Nikita Miller. “But we can’t just sit back on our laurels. We need to go out there and get the balls in the right areas and get the required wickets.”JDF’s captain Damion Grey said they intend to put up a fight.”They have the upper hand as 400-odd runs is a lot of runs,” he said. “But we have a long batting and tend to bat deep, so the aim is to try and bat out the day and see if we can get the runs.”Meanwhile, at the Goodyear Oval, the other semi-final between St Thomas CA and St Ann CA had the latter leading on first innings.St Thomas first made 201, then St Ann replied with 226. Batting a second time, St Thomas closed on 19 for two.