Viljoen takes five on Kent debut
Viljoen takes five on Kent debut

Hardus Viljoen took five wickets on his Kent debut as Gloucestershire were bowled out for 221 on day one at the Bristol County Ground.

Hardus Viljoen, Kent debut, day one Gloucestershire vs Kent

The South African pace bowler, 27, signed for Kent last week to play in the club’s final four Specsavers County Championship matches of the season, and he made the perfect start to his county career by taking 5-55 from 22.2 overs.

After choosing to field with an uncontested toss, Kent skipper Sam Northeast will have been pleased with his bowlers efforts with the home side bowled out 10 balls short of stumps. New Zealander Hamish Marshall was the only man to pass 50 for Gloucestershire as the Kent attack remained tight and disciplined throughout the day.

After being sent in to bat, the going was far from easy for the home batsmen early on, as they found themselves in a spot of bother at 84/4 by lunch. Darren Stevens, who bowled a miserly spell of 2-14 from nine overs in the morning session, was the first among the wickets, as he had Chris Dent playing onto his stumps for a duck, and Gloucestershire skipper Gareth Roderick trapped lbw for 23.

Viljoen came into the attack an hour or so into the session and got his first Kent wicket in his second over as the hosts’ star batsman Michael Klinger was pinned lbw for 10. When Will Gidman, playing against his old club, had Will Tavaré chopping onto his stumps, Kent had well and truly had the best of the morning session, fully vindicating Northeast’s decision to bowl first.

The second session belonged to Gloucestershire, however, as Marshall and Phil Mustard batted through it without losing a wicket. The going was slow, with just 68 runs coming in the afternoon, but it was a necessary partnership for the home side as they looked to rebuild.

Viljoen broke the 82-run stand early in the evening as Mustard was caught down the legside by Sam Billings for 38, before Mitch Claydon snared his first wicket of the day; Jack Taylor caught by Matt Coles for 24 to leave the hosts 189/6.

Marshall’s 58 had occupied 192 balls before he became Viljoen’s third victim, another to go lbw, while David Payne made just one before falling to the 6ft 4in South African too.

Matt Coles got his name in the wickets column when he had Liam Norwell fantastically caught by Sean Dickson at short leg for 8, before Viljoen completed his debut five-wicket haul in the penultimate over of the day, as Craig Miles edged to Stevens in the slips for 8.

Viljoen’s figures of 22.2-5-55-5 left his new side in a strong position heading into day two tomorrow, with Kent on the hunt for a vital victory to keep their promotion hopes on track.


Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Gloucestershire v Kent at Bristol, Aug 23-26 2016:

Stumps, day one: Gloucestershire 221 all out (Marshall 58; Viljoen 5-55)

Gloucestershire: Roderick*, Dent, Tavaré, Klinger, Marshall, Mustard†, J Taylor, Miles, Payne, Norwell, M Taylor

Kent: Bell-Drummond, Dickson, Denly, Northeast*, Stevens, Billings†, Gidman, Tredwell, Coles, Claydon, Viljoen

Toss uncontested, Kent elected to field

Full scorecard available here.


Photograph courtesy of Martin Shaw