Kagiso Rabada moved seamlessly from T20 mode to first-class, taking two wickets as Essex tried to impose themselves on Kent in the County Championship.
Rabada is on a month’s contract with Kent, but he was thrown into the deep-end of English cricket. From making his debut on Thursday, 30 June, he has played two T20s and is now engaged in a four-day championship match. If it goes the distance, he will be on a bus on Wednesday night for a four-hour journey to Taunton for another T20. Welcome to England.
But for the moment, he shows no sign of flagging, dismissing the two Essex openers, Nick Browne (33) and Alastair Cook (49) after they had put on 84 for the first wicket, chasing Kent’s weak offering of 207.
He had severely tested the openers in a hostile opening spell, in which he conceded just nine runs in six overs, having Cook nervously dancing around in his crease in the face of some serious pace and the awkward bounce that had helped the Essex bowlers earlier in the day.
This was Rabada’s first red-ball outing since he took 13 wickets against England at Centurion in the fourth Test.
Imran Tahir was another having a good day as he took three Lancashire wickets for 27 runs, helping restrict them to 273-9 at Nottingham.
Back at Trent Bridge for a second spell after last year’s visit was curtailed early by injury, the leg-spinner began by conceding 13 runs in his first over, six of them before he had bowled a legitimate delivery, but thereafter produced evidence of his increasing skill and confidence.
He was Lancashire’s most troublesome opponent, offering few cheap runs, even when he was attacking, and having enough guile to snare two of his three wickets with his googly.
Alviro Petersen had not such a good day, contributing just 11 before being caught behind off Stuart Broad.
Elsewhere, Jacques Rudolph finally found some form with a patient 87 off 197 balls, leading his Glamorgan to a first-innings total of 335. Sussex, though, have responded strongly, ending the day on 227-3.
Compiled by Mark Salter
Photo: Getty Images