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Mills making most of time in orange

20 November 2021

Lilly Mills celebrates a wicket // Getty Images

Off spinner Lilly Mills has taken the WBBL by storm this year, but it’s a version the cricketing world may not have seen if a coach in Queensland didn’t make a suggestion at a training session.

Four years ago, Mills had finished up her bowling load as a pace bowling allrounder and was bowling spin to the batters in the nets.

The coach went up to her and was impressed, suggesting she should take it up the skill full time.

The rest is history.

After spending a couple of seasons at the Heat, Mills moved West this season in search of more opportunities, a move which has proven to be a success.

She sits second on the WBBL|07 wicket takers list with 16, just one behind Brisbane’s Jess Jonassen.

She credited the ability to work with coach Shelley Nitschke as one of the reasons for her success this year.

“I think she brings a really calming sort of influence,” she said.

“You’re backed in a way that on the day you can execute your skills.

“It helps a fair bit, having that experience when it comes to being under pressure and playing.”

It’s the kind of backing which has helped Mills perform not only in the middle overs of the game, but up the top in the powerplay and at the death.

She said her preparedness to bowl at any stage of the game, as well as knowing her own game, has made it easier to perform under pressure.

“As an off spinner, you’re pretty limited in the options that you do have, you don’t turn the ball both ways,” she said.

“You probably can be a little bit more attacking when it comes to bowling outside of the powerplay because you’ve got a bit more protection.

“Powerplay bowling is just about executing your best ball and making sure you set your field accordingly.”

After the matches in Tasmania to start the season, the team travelled to WA for five games in what was Mills’ first trip to Perth.

She said it was a fantastic experience, and couldn’t wait to play at the WACA Ground when she joined the club.

“It's a bit of a childhood dream to play at the WACA Ground after watching some of the Aussie greats play there,” she said.

“It was nice to see all of the families and dogs out at Lilac Hill as well.”

The Queensland product said the conditions in Hobart were some of the coldest days of cricket she’s experienced, while the conditions in Perth were familiar, as the weather was similar to that of her native state.

The Scorchers have locked away a spot in the finals this season with two matches remaining against the Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Sixers in Adelaide this weekend.

Mills said there was a common theme heading into the matches.

“We really want to play a home final at Perth, and if we win both games, that's almost a guarantee,” she said.

“It's pretty exciting to be around a group that potentially could play finals at home.