Rabada stars on Kent debut

2016-07-01 07:33
Kagiso Rabada (Getty Images)

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 Thursday.

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 over.    


Read more on:    kagiso rabada  |  cricket

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