Two fixtures in the latest round of the T20 Blast had a distinctly South African flavour. GARETH STEVENS reports.
Glamorgan beat Somerset by 7 runs in a high-scoring thriller at Taunton on 6 June. Jacques Rudolph and Jim Allenby got the Welsh club off to the perfect start, adding 92 before the former fell for 40 at slightly better than a run-a-ball. He proved to be the perfect foil for his hard-hitting fellow opening batsman, who finished on 96 not out off 59 balls. Their opening stand set the foundation for an imposing total of 176-3 in the allotted 20 overs.
Alfonso Thomas was skillful with ball in hand for Somerset and did a great job, as always, of limiting the damage. He finished with credible figures of 1-30 off his four overs.
Somerset’s other South African, Alviro Petersen, came in at the fall of the second wicket in the run chase and struck the ball sweetly from the beginning. However, his 34 off just 21 balls wasn’t enough as Somerset fell a mere seven runs short, reaching 169-3.
The other match involving a South African contingent saw Essex beat Surrey by 5 wickets with 7 balls to spare. Hashim Amla has replaced Graeme Smith at the top of Surrey’s order, but he never got going and fell for nine off 12 balls.
The South African-born Kevin Pietersen also returned to County action in the game and was greeted by a chorus of jeers. His IPL struggles continued as he added just five off eight balls. Despite the shaky start, the hosts managed to post a competitive 151-6 on a tricky Oval wicket in their 20 overs.
Surrey then sprung a surprise by opening the bowling with left-arm spinner Robin Peterson. It backfired as his first two balls were dispatched for 10 runs by Jesse Ryder. To Peterson’s credit, he held his nerve, never stopped giving the ball some air and kept a lid on the scoring rate from that point onwards. Without ever looking like a wicket-taking threat, he finished with respectable figures of 0-30 off his 4 overs.
The South African-born Dutch International, Ryan ten Doeschate, saw Essex home with a well paced innings of 43 not out off 32 balls. It was a welcome return to form in his first game of the County season after struggling for runs in the IPL.