Cape Town - Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada proved an
instant hit by claiming two wickets on debut to help steer the Kent Spitfires
to a 10-run win over NatWest T20 Blast rivals Sussex Sharks in Canterbury on
The hosts successfully defended 166 for six with Rabada
claiming two for 31 and Fabian Cowdrey two for eight to seal their side's third
south group win at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.
After collecting his man-of-the-match award, 21-year-old
Rabada told Kent’s official website: “It was a great start for my debut and I’m
just happy that I could contribute and that the team has won. It’s a good start
for me and 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.”
Needing to score at 8.35 an over to surpass Kent’s modest
166 for six, Sussex openers Chris Nash and Luke Wright had faced only eight
deliveries when low sunshine caused a stoppage in play for 17 minutes.
As the players stood in the middle waiting for the sun to
drop, the irony was not lost on a Kent side who have lost 1 216 overs to
inclement weather in all forms of cricket this season.
On his Kent debut, Rabada struck with his 11th delivery by
pegging back the off stump of Chris Nash (6) with a yorker.
‘Bad light’ came into play again at the opposite end of the
ground as this time the setting sun reflected off the windows of a Sky Sports
gantry to dazzle the batsmen and cause a further 10-minute delay.
Six balls after the resumption Luke Wright (16) attempted to
uppercut against Rabada and was caught superbly on the run at third man by a
sliding David Griffiths.
With James Tredwell bowling frugally, Sussex still required
100 to win with 10 overs remaining, but that was the cue for Ross Taylor to cut
lose by taking 17 off a Darren Stevens over.
Kent hit back when, in his first over, Fabian Cowdrey had
Phil Salt (18) caught at cow corner then, Cowdrey’s arm ball wrapped Taylor on
the pads flush in front to send the Kiwi packing one short of his 50.
Matt Machan launched into a leg-side six off Griffiths
leaving Sharks to score 32 to win off their final two overs. Mitch Claydon
conceded nine off the penultimate over, leaving debutant Rabada with the final