Imran Tahir continued the trend of Saffa impact when he took 3-13 on his T20 Blast debut for Nottinghamshire.
As did Kagiso Rabada when he first appeared for Kent 12 days ago, Tahir was named man of the match for cutting off any hopes Northamptonshire had of posting a decent total. They had looked comfortable when Richard Levi (35 off 20) had shared an opening stand of 52 with Adam Rossington (22), and were winding up for a charge at 81-3 after 10 overs. But Tahir struck in successive overs. ,
He appeared to have a mesmeric hold on the Northants batsmen as first Steven Crook, lbw trying to sweep, Alex Wakely, lbw playing back, and then Richard Gleeson, tamely chipping to midwicket, all fell in a superb spell.
In partnership with Samit Patel, who returned 2-27 in four overs, the spinners helped collapse the Northants innings from a strong powerplay of 59-1.
The chase was never in doubt, despite Riki Wessels going lbw for 3 in the second over, with Dan Christian leading the way with 56 from 32 for a six-wicket win.
Rabada continued his influential run as Kent beat Gloucestershire by three runs in Bristol. He was not as spectacular as on debut, but equally effective, taking 1-19 in his four overs, strangling the life out of the Glos batsmen as they defended 148. He has never come out of a Blast match with a nil return in his four matches.
Farhaan Behardien was another to make an immediate impact when he took 2-35 for Leicestershire, helping his team to a nine-wicket win over Derbyshire. He removed their top scorer, Neil Broom, which reined them back to a total of 158. Cameron Delport was freed to enjoy himself, hammering 38 off 20 (2×4, 2×6) after Mark Pettini (71*) and Mark Cosgrove (52) had put on 106 for the opening stand.
Elsewhere, Colin Ingram grabbed the spotlight when he scored 19 off six balls, finishing Glamorgan’s chase of Middlesex’s 144 by smashing three successive sixes. Glamorgan ended on 145-1 with 21 balls to spare after David Lloyd (49) and Mark Wallace (69) had done all the hard work.
Alviro Petersen (35 off 20) shared a back-breaking 98-run opening stand with Jos Buttler (57 off 22) as Lancashire ran down Worcestershire’s 198 with seven wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare. They set a new record for a powerplay score in England, overtaking the 96 by the Sri Lankans in a match against Sussex in 2014.
Kyle Abbott, as did all the Worcs bowlers, came under fire, conceding 52 in his four overs, but he did at least bowl Buttler.
Chris Morris, though, is struggling to get into the Blast rhythm. He scored 8, and went for 39 off three, but Surrey still beat Somerset by 15 runs, defending just 154.