Saudi Arabia draw with Thailand to win group and book Korea clash

Saudi Arabia draw with Thailand to win group and book Korea clash
Saudi Arabia draw with Thailand to win group and book Korea clash

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: Tymal Mills is one of five highly experienced left-arm pacers on the Desert Vipers roster alongside Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Sheldon Cottrell and Luke Wood – and the pace cartel already has a potent look to it.

Mills, who was highly effective in the first match of season two against the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders, albeit in a losing cause, had the chance to bowl alongside Afridi and Amir during the Vipers’ winning effort on Wednesday against the Gulf Giants. This time it was debutant Afridi who impressed with figures of 3-22.

Speaking to the Vipers Voices podcast, Tymal Mills said he really enjoyed bowling alongside Shaheen Shah Afridi: “It has been great to welcome Shaheen into the team. I have played against him quite a few times but never played with him. He is a brilliant bowler, and he is a lovely guy as well. He has done brilliantly in his career, whether that be for Pakistan or in franchise cricket and domestic cricket.

“He plays in all three forms of the game still, which is to his credit. He is not specialising in one form, and he is still managing to be successful across formats. He is certainly a great addition to this side. He bowled brilliantly last night, and he is a great asset to the team.”

Tymal added that he believed the unique combination of pace and swing from around the globe gave the team a definite edge over the competition: “We all have different skill sets and strengths and weaknesses and we complement each other well. I certainly have not been part of a team before where there were five left-armers before. So, there is going to be a lot of competition for places for sure.

“The great thing about franchise competitions is that melting pot, where you get guys from all around the world with different experiences coming together. You hope that everyone shares as much as they can, and we certainly have in the meetings we have had so far.”

Tymal explained why left-arm pacers had an advantage over their right-arm colleagues in the fast-bowling department: “Growing up, most batters just tend to face right-arm over (the wicket) bowling.

“The bowling machines are normally set up for right-arm over (the wicket) when you are a youngster. Probably eighty percent of the bowling you will face in club cricket will be right-arm over (the wicket). I guess your brain is not trained as much to facing the ball from the other side. I guess that might be an advantage.

“But we are playing against world-class batters in every game so there are certainly no easy matchups.”

Commenting on the super-sub rule, Tymal who was subbed out for Sherfane Rutherford in the last game against the Gulf Giants said it was the batters who had a better deal: “It does not really make a difference to me because I am bowling, and I often do not end up batting in a T20 game.

“Sherfane Rutherford has got the best gig in cricket at the moment as he gets to bat and not do any fielding. I know Alex Hales is fighting for that spot of who is going to get subbed off. It is nice for the batters, because I am sure they would love to go out and bat and then put their feet up and not have to bowl.

“It is a good addition, (the super-sub rule) makes the game stronger, and you get an extra bowler and an extra batter for both sides. As a bowler, you know the opposition is going to bat deeper, because more often than not they will sub in an extra player down the order. I think it adds to the overall competition and level of the game.”

When asked if the rule came at the cost of all-rounders, Mills disagreed: “I don’t think it jeopardises the future of the all-rounder.

“If you are a good player, it does not matter whether you are a batter or a bowler or all-rounder, you will find your way into the team. If you are a genuine all-rounder, you will find a place on the team because you offer two skill sets.

Looking ahead Mills said, the team was on the right path, but they had a lot more to achieve: “It was great to get the first win but it is still early in the competition, and you cannot get too low after a loss in the first match, and you also cannot get too high after winning last night.

“I think we improved in every area compared with the first game and that is what the coach and captain asked for. So, it was nice to do that and beat the team that won the competition last year. But there are still eight group games to go and a long journey ahead.”

The DP World ILT20 got underway in Sharjah on Friday, and the Desert Vipers’ next match is against the  Abu Dhabi Knight Riders at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, 27 January.

  • Tickets for all Desert Vipers matches are now on sale and can be purchased via the official DP World ILT20 website or at any Virgin Megastore across the UAE.

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