It was a mixed bag for South African players on the County circuit, with the promise of much to come in the next three days.
In Division One, Dean Elgar helped Surrey out of an early wobble with a solid 60 off 101 balls (9 x 4) against Yorkshire, before being bowled by England captain Joe Root (only his 35th first-class wicket). Surrey’s lower middle-order came to the rescue, with Rikki Clarke scoring 71 and Ollie Pope an undefeated 131. Conor McKerr was at the crease at the close on 27 off 40 balls, as Surrey look to build on a formidable 366-7 off 92.3 overs.
Somerset sent Hampshire in to bat on a pitch that showed some signs of life, and the visitors were reduced to 111-4 straight after lunch with the dismissal of Hashim Amla for four. Rilee Rossouw helped to steady the ship, hammering eight fours in a 47-ball innings of 38, before failing yet again to reach 50 in his eighth Championship innings of the season. Pietermaritzburg-born Tim Groenewald took two wickets for 50 runs, including the wicket of fellow KZN ‘compatriot’ Amla.
Keaton Jennings followed up his 109 for Lancashire against Somerset last week with an undefeated 52 off 127 balls against Nottinghamshire, as the visitors ended the day on 157-4 after 41 overs. Earlier, Nottinghamshire had been bundled out for 133, with Dane Vilas (fresh from his undefeated 235 against Somerset) taking three catches.
In Division Two, Glamorgan’s Marchant de Lange continued his solid start to the season by taking three Leicestershire wickets for 56 runs off 18 overs (economy 3.11) as the hosts were skittled for 191 off 69.1 overs. Glamorgan ended the day on 82 without loss to take a firm grip on the match.
Heino Kuhn top-scored in Kent’s first innings against Sussex, eventually falling for 60 off 116 balls, caught behind off fellow countryman David Wiese. The right-arm, medium-fast bowler ripped through the Kent top order, taking 4-54 off 21 overs before a late surge saw the hosts claw their way to 215 off 74.1 overs. In response, Sussex was teetering on 69-4 after 19 overs, with the writing on the wall that this match might not progress past lunch on day three.
Derbyshire got off to a great start, losing their first wicket with 110 runs on the board. Enter South African-born Wayne Madsen (following a powerful 144 off 203 balls against Warwickshire), who played his side into a dominant position with a superb 80 not out off 130 balls (10 x 4). Derbyshire finished the day on 301-4 and look set to post a formidable first innings score.
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