Wayne Parnell scored a fifty and took four wickets as Kent defeated Sussex by 226 runs.
Kent vs Sussex
In a match laden with South African stars, Kent secured back-to-back victories as Sussex were thoroughly outplayed in Hove. Parnell, who enjoyed a stint with Kent back in 2009, made a smooth transition to County cricket with a half-century in the first innings, before taking figures of 3-48 and 1-42.
It wasn’t a debut to remember for Vernon Philander, who bowled 17 wicketless overs before limping off with a groin injury, preventing him from bowling in the second innings. He did come out to bat in the second innings (8), so hopefully it’s not too serious. David Wiese and Stiaan van Zyl also ran out for Sussex, but struggled to make an impact for the side as their season opener ended in disappointment.
Middlesex vs Hampshire
Kolpak pair Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw both impressed for Hampshire as they played out to a draw against champions Middlesex in Southampton. Abbott, who took nine wickets in their opening victory against Yorkshire, took another five-wicket haul, this time in the second innings, to ensure that Middlesex couldn’t pull away.
Abbott took 2-87 and 5-59 to sit second in the wicket-taking charts, and he also scored 56 coming in as a nightwatchman in the first innings. Rossouw meanwhile fell an agonising one run short of a century in that innings. He was stuck with the tail and attempted to scamper for a single, but was left short on 99 to end the innings.
Derbyshire vs Northamptonshire
Rossouw wasn’t the only one to score 99, as Richard Levi‘s 79-ball blitz proved decisive in a thrilling three-wicket victory for Northants over Derbyshire. Chasing an unfathomable 326 off 66 overs, Levi, together with Rob Newton (98) had the nerve to give it a go. Sure enough, they achieved it with one ball left on day four, to pull off what might prove to be one of the most enthralling matches of the season.
With Derbyshire posting 351-1 dec, they thought that would have been enough to give themselves a chance of victory, but it backfired horribly. Rory Kleinveldt also featured taking 2-57 in the first innings, while former Dolphins all-rounder Daryn Smit was on the receiving end, scoring 19 in Derbyshire’s first innings and bowling 10 wicketless overs in Northants’ chase.
Smit was tasked with bowling the last over of the day and Northants required four runs to win. With two needed off two, Kleinveldt did it in classy style, smashing a six off the penultimate delivery to seal a famous win.
Durham vs Nottinghamshire
It was a poor start to English life for Stephen Cook, scoring two and zero as Durham crashed to a nine-wicket defeat to Notts. His opening partner, former South African U19 captain and England Test player scored a century in the second innings, but the 110 runs required for victory for Notts made it a simple chase.
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