• Pretorius goes big, Vilas bigger, abroad

    Proteas all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius’ first-class credentials were displayed during a solid century for Northamptonshire against Worcestershire in Northampton this week.

    Pretorius’ County Championship Division Two debut yielded a superb 111 – which spanned 156 deliveries – and featured 11 fours and a trio of sixes. The opposition bowling attack featured former Proteas seamer Wayne Parnell and England spinner Moeen Ali.

    Pretorius, who was part of South Africa’s squad for the 2019 World Cup, has been a key member of Northamptonshire’s T20 Blast campaign. That form has continued at first-class level.

    Former Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas, meanwhile, welcomed a highest first-class score in Lancashire’s Division Two fixture with Glamorgan in Colwyn Bay.

    Vilas amassed 266 from 240 deliveries and hit 35 fours and six sixes. He was at the crease for over five hours.

    The 34-year-old played six Tests between 2015 and 2016. His previous best was 244 – also for Lancashire. The veteran right-hander also scored first-class double-centuries for the Cape Cobras and Lions.

    Several other South Africans are involved in the County Championship, including Essex’s Simon Harmer, who worked with England ahead of last week’s second Ashes series Test at Lord’s in London.

    The hosts’ decision to drop Ali left a lack of off-spin in the squad. Harmer was included in practises to effectively mimic the threat posed by Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

    Photo: Getty Images

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