Kyle Abbott enhanced his all-round credentials as he helped Hampshire to a 196-run win over Worcestershire in the opening County cricket match in Southampton.
Not only did he top-score with a vital 51 off 74 balls in Hampshire’s second innings, which gave them a 324-run cushion, he then dismissed the top four batsmen – three lbws and a bowled – to help wrap up Worcestershire for 127. Abbott, who signed a Kolpak contract last year, ended the innings with 4-45 and the match with 7-90.
Hashim Amla had a slightly frustrating debut for Hampshire. He found the going hard in typically cold, early season conditions when called on to bat early on day one, but he grounded out a useful 36. In his second effort, he was run out on a similar score off 70 balls.
Elsewhere, there was carnage as the weather played havoc with the batsmen.
Still, David Wiese was also able to lay out his all-round credentials in Sussex’s rain-hit draw against Warwickshire. Not only did he take 4-56 to help restrict Warwicks to 299, but, batting at nine, he scored his maiden century for the county, ending with 106 off just 105 balls, with 14 fours and three sixes.
Heino Kuhn had a sobering introduction to life as a Kolpak player with Kent, scoring just four in their first innings offering of 64 against Gloucestershire. The highest score of that innings was 15. He did not fare much better second time around, only mustering five, although Kent did struggle on to 153. They lost by five wickets after Gloucs chased 108 to win.
Richard Levi, too, with 20 (off 25 balls), was the top scorer in Northant’s first innings of 71, in reply to Middlesex’s 214. He added 23 off 30 balls in the second innings as Northants went down by 160 runs.
Dane Vilas was the standout batsman with 49 in Lancashire’s first innings of 158, to which Nottinghamshire replied with 222. He didn’t do as well in the second innings (six) as Lancs were bundled out for 73, leaving Notts with a target of 10. They lost four wickets getting there; three to Australian Joe Mennie’s medium pace, who took 3-4.
Simon Harmer, at Essex, did not even get on to the field, spending four days watching Headingley attempt to dry itself under low grey clouds after days of rain.