Brisbane Heat quick Tymal Mills certainly won’t forget his first visit to the Melbourne Cricket Ground after an awkward moment before the top-of-the-table clash against the Melbourne Stars last night.
The visitors became the first team to secure a spot in the KFC Big Bash League finals with a victory in front of 40,225 fans, but it wasn’t without some pre-match drama for the 24-year-old quick from England.
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With Brendon McCullum serving a one-match suspension and leg-spinner Samuel Badree missing another match due to a hamstring injury, the Heat entered the evening with Mills as their sole international for the crunch clash in Melbourne.
However, things didn’t exactly go according to plan.
"With the Aussie Open on, the traffic was terrible," Mills explained to cricket.com.au after the seven-wicket win.
"Luckily one of the boys was driving and those of us that were playing left the car and walked and got to the ground late as it is.
"Then I didn’t have my accreditation on me, so they wouldn’t let me in the stadium for a good half an hour.
"I ended up getting in with one of the media guys and walked through the crowd, straight onto the outfield after the warm-ups had started, quickly got my ankle strapped and came out with my gear on.
"This was all about 20 minutes before the first ball was bowled, so not an ideal start to the day.
"I was praying that we’d be batting first so I’d have a bit of time to sort myself out, but then I arrived and got told we were bowling so I was a bit flustered to be honest.
"I managed to get myself ready in time and luckily put in an alright bowling performance."
Mills was in the thick of the action early, conceding just three runs in the second over of the evening after Mark Steketee collected the big wickets of Rob Quiney and Kevin Pietersen from the first two legitimate deliveries of the match.
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As the Stars prepared to make their move in the latter stages of the innings, Mills returned to claim his first BBL wicket – that of opposing skipper David Hussey – and finished with the tidy figures of 1-20 from his allotted four overs.
After securing a spot in the finals for the first time since their championship run in BBL|02, the Heat now bid farewell to Mills whose two-match stint comes to a close with the expected return of Badree for the encounter with the Melbourne Renegades on Friday night.
Mills – who has one T20 International with England to his name – was thrilled to finish his brief stint in Australia with an appearance at the sporting Colosseum that is the MCG.
"It’s a good one to tick off the list," Mills said of his first match at the famous venue.
"If I’m never to play here again it’s nice to have done it, but hopefully I will many more times in the future."
Perhaps with a smoother entry next time around?