Ashwell Prince, the subject of growing speculation in regard to a position on the South African selectors panel, reaffirmed that he is still in touch with the game by scoring 106 in Lancashire’s innings of 317-5 against Kent in the county championship on Sunday.
It was another influential innings, following his 97 against Derbyshire in the last match. This time he came to the crease on a hat-trick ball when Lancashire were 38-2, with his old Proteas teammate Alviro Petersen out for 0.
Whatever hopes Kent had were swiftly washed away as Prince settled into a partnership of 98 with Paul Horton, born in Australia and who learned some of his trade with the Matabeleland Tuskers in Bulawayo, back in the day. When Horton was dismissed for 71, Prince carried the standard with Steve Croft, putting on 75 for the fourth wicket.
Prince was eventually undone by paceman Mitchell Claydon after an energetic innings which contained just five fours and two sixes and a lot of running off 172 balls.
Amid the swirl of rumour, at least one franchise thinks he would be the man to make a difference on the panel, if not the convenor, which is up for re-election. Nominations close on Thursday.
Kevin Pietersen was celebrating after scoring just 32 for Surrey against Essex. His first scoring stroke brought two runs and with it the accolade of scoring the fastest 1,000 runs in Surrey’s history. It had taken him just 17 innings in a stop-start career, edging out his compatriot Zander de Bruyn and Mark Ramprakash, who had reached that mark in 18 innings.
Pietersen was trapped lbw by New Zealander Jesse Ryder’s gentle medium-pace, having scored four fours among the 78 deliveries he faced. Ryder also dismissed Kumar Sangakkara, for 52, as Surrey ended the day on 293-5.
Elsewhere, Hampshire’s Cape-Town born, Italy-qualified paceman Gareth Berg took 2-68 off 19 as Nottinghamshire drove on to 301-6. Riki Wessels was a spectator for much of that innings, scoring 17 off 28 balls.
Up north, Keaton Jennings contributed 35 to Durham’s 103-2 in reply to Sussex’s 335. He even bowled one over for 10 runs in the at innings as Durham lost the plot. They had Sussex staggering at 171-9, but the last wicket partnership between Oliver Robinson and Matthew Hobden put on a record stand of 164 at a rate of nearly six an over.
In Leicester, Richard Levi whacked 22 off 29 balls in Northamptonshire’s cavalier innings of 251. At the close. Leics were 102-1, with Rory Kleinveldt bowling tightly for 18 runs off seven overs.
Meanwhile, Kyle Abbott‘s good form in the World Cup has been recognised by Middlesex, even if it was ignored by the South African selectors.
He has been signed up for seven matches in the first half of their T20 Blast campaign (subject to clearance by Cricket SA) before he heads off to Bangladesh with the Proteas (if selected) at the end of June.
Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser said: ‘We think we’ve signed someone who will significantly strengthen our side. Kyle was exceptional during the recent World Cup, where he took nine wickets in four games at an average of 14 and conceded just over four runs per over. In a high-scoring tournament these were outstanding figures.’
Abbott was overlooked for the semifinal against New Zealand.
He will move on to England after the IPL, where he plays for Chennai Super Kings.
Compiled by Mark Salter