SHARJAH // Tymal Mills, the Quetta Gladiators fast bowler, is confident he can pose a significant threat against Peshawar Zalmi, despite the slow pace of the wicket in Sharjah.
The left-armer missed all the Pakistan Super League matches his side played at the UAE’s oldest cricket venue last week due to a hamstring injury.
After making his return at the Dubai International Stadium, he took three wickets on Saturday night against the same opposition Quetta will be faced with in the first play-off match.
Peshawar’s leading batsmen struggled against his pace, on a Dubai pitch that offered more carry than is generally the norm up the road in Sharjah.
“I don’t mind bowling on slow pitches,” Mills said. “I have tended to do well in the subcontinent whenever I have bowled there over the past few years.
“If you bowl quick, at that heavy length, with it not bouncing much the batsmen tend to struggle. You have to be disciplined with your lines, and not give any width at all.”
At one point in the final league match, Mills appeared to be offering Kamran Akmal, Zalmi’s leading run-scorer this season, tips on how to play his bouncer.
“He was begging,” Mills said. “I had already bowled a bouncer that over, and he was trying to claim that was above his shoulder also.
“I was trying to point out to him he was ducking down, and he needed to stand up taller. I don’t tend to get too involved, unless I’m really, really fired up.”
Mohammed Hafeez, who was one of Mills’ victims in Dubai, said the fact his side won on Saturday shows they are capable of blunting his threat.
“He bowled well in that particular game, but at the end of the day it is all about winning that game,” Hafeez said.
“As a team, we have seen him in a couple of games, and now faced him. As a batting unit we are very confident we can handle any situation or bowling attack.
“We have match winners. On that pitch, at one stage we were nowhere, then all of a sudden a good innings by Shahid Afridi got us across that line.
“We are confident going into the play-offs. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going into it.”
The winner of tonight’s match in Sharjah progresses directly to Sunday’s final in Lahore.
The losing side get a second chance, as they will face the winner of Wednesday’s meeting between Islamabad United and Karachi Kings on Friday.
Hafeez said Zalmi are confident because of the nature of their win against Quetta three days earlier.
“It was a great game of cricket and we got across that line because of the great efforts of Shahid Afridi,” Hafeez said.
“It is something very special for a team to feel those winning moments in the dressing room, especially going forward into the play-offs.
“Against that opposition, so far we have played very well. We as a team are confident of handling the pressure, because these matches require that.”
■ Read more: All you need to know for the play-offs
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