Proteas’ star paceman Kagiso Rabada was named Man of the Match on his debut for Kent in the Natwest T20 Blast.
The 21-year-old, who has a month’s contract with the English side to give him ‘experience’, made an immediate impact by removing Sussex openers Chris Nash (6) and captain Luke Wright (16) in successive overs, which left the visitors reeling at 2-35 after five overs.
It severely dented their hopes of overtaking the less-than-challenging target of 166 set by Kent at Canterbury. At that stage, he held the mightily impressive figures f 2-19 off three. His fourth over came under pressure in Sussex’s desperate slog, giving him final figures of 2-31. As important as the wickets, was the fact that Rabada had 13 dot balls to his name.
That helped tie up the dangerous Ross Taylor, the top-scorer with 49 off 32.
With part-time left-arm spinner Fabian Cowdrey backing him up with 2-8 off two, Sussex were held to 156-4, giving Kent a tense 10-run win.
Rabada struck with his 11th delivery by pegging back Nash’s off stump with a searing yorker. Then Wright attempted to uppercut, to be caught superbly on the run at third man.
Rabada said: ‘It was a great start for my debut and I’m just happy that I could contribute. Hopefully we can get some momentum from this.
‘It was quite a good wicket but most of the guys felt we fell a bit short runs wise, so credit to all the bowlers because we made it tough for them to score and got wickets at crucial times.”
In a ‘first’ for Rabada, too much light stopped play twice: Once when the low sun shone through the gap between two stands, and again when it reflected off the windows of the commentary box, dazzling the batsmen.
Elsewhere, Kyle Abbott‘s first match for Worcestershire was less productive. Only 14 overs were played before rain ended the game against Keaton Jennings‘ Durham side. Jennings took 2-18 in four overs as Worcs reached 103-5.
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