Rilee Rossouw is on a roll. He followed up his 90 for Hampshire against Surrey with a bizarre Nelson against Essex: 111 off 111 balls with 11 fours.
He and captain James Vince (66) put on 126 for the second wicket after the early loss of Hashim Amla (18). When he fell to Ravi Bopara, he had taken Hampshire to 253-4, just 50 shy of Essex’s offering of 303.
It was a simple stroll-in after that, with Hampshire winning by six wickets.
The one-dayers are Rossouw’s comfort zone: after all, he played 36 ODIs for South Africa before going down the Kolpak route last year, for which he took much flak from Cricket South Africa.
‘Moving to England will give me and my family the long-term career security that I believe is important at this stage of my life,’ he said at the time.
Elsewhere, Richard Levi came back to form with a solid 90 off 95 balls (eight fours, one six) to help Northamptonshire to a two-wicket win over Lancashire, chasing down 282 with two balls remaining.
He hasn’t been at his best recently, posting a top score of 41 in six games, but this time he played a measured innings. He and Josh Cobb (57) put on 113 in 16 overs for the first wicket, and when he departed, Northants were 195-5 after 34 overs.
Dane Vilas had earlier given Lancashire a massive boost with a blistering 83 off 68 balls, which surprisingly contained just four fours and two sixes. The other 55 came from hard-running – almost 2km of short, sharp sprinting.
Lancashire had been given a solid foundation with an opening stand of 105 by Keaton Jennings (69) and Alex Davies (59), but they were faltering a bit at 185-5. But Vilas, who signed a Kolpak deal last year, propped up the tail to present a respectable total.
Dean Elgar contributed a valuable 50 to a stand of 158 with Will Jacks as Surrey chased down Gloucestershire’s 282-6. Jacks went on to 121 and Ben Foakes (50) finished it off for a six-wicket win.
On the bowling front, it was an all-Saffa affair as Marchant de Lange and Colin Ingram took three apiece for Glamorgan, restricting Middlesex to 304-6.
Ingram was the standout bowler, taking his three for just 24 runs off seven overs. De Lange was a little more expensive, going for over seven an over.
Photo: Hampshire cricket via Twitter