Keaton Jennings scored successive centuries to become the big success story for Saffas on the English County circuit on Wednesday.
Rain again ensured it would be a typically cold welcome for the players as the season got underway.
Jennings, son of the former Transvaal veteran and SA U19 coach Ray, followed his 116 with 105, his seventh first-class hundred in his four seasons at Durham, in the match against Somerset. Sadly for South Africa, he has committed himself to England qualification.
But apart from pushing him up the run-scoring list, there was little in it for Durham as the match slid into the mud. Roelof van der Merwe picked up a Durham wicket in each innings for a match return of 2-68.
Richard Levi scored 11 and Rory Kleinveld 13 in Northants’ innings of 481-7, dominated by Ben Duckett’s unbeaten 282. That was as far as that match got as the weather closed in.
Ryan McLaren remained the hero of Hampshire for his 85, which pushed the first-innings total to 202. It wasn’t looking good as Warwickshire worked their way to 360 on the back of Ian Bell’s 174 and 66 from Chris Woakes in between rain breaks.
But McLaren wasn’t needed in the second innings as Hampshire held out for the draw on 185-5.
There was agony and ecstacy for Riki Wessels, who contributed 81 to Nottinghamshire’s 446. They made Surrey follow on after mustering just 225, but there was stiffer resistance second time around, running up 389.
Notts needed 169 to win, but Tom Curran, son of former Zimbabwe and Natal all-rounder Kevin, tore in, dismissing Wessels for 0 among four wickets that he took, tying up Notts. It was too much in the end, with Surrey losing by three wickets.
Gareth Roderick‘s first match in charge of Gloucestershire ended in a 10-wicket defeat.
The Durban-born Roderick, who made his first-class debut for KZN in 2011, came out of it with honour, having scored a fifty in each innings, but he will need his troops to rally around as they mustered only 265 and 215 against Essex’s 385 (in which Alastair Cook scored a hundred) and 94-0.
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