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7 Apr 2017

Rory Kleinveldt took three wickets and smashed a 23-ball fifty as Northamptonshire dominated the opening day of the Specsavers County Championship season. Kleinveldt first helped fire out Glamorgan for just 101 before going to a rapid fifty as Northants closed 268 for 6, a lead of 167.

Kleinveldt took 3 for 35 among a fine performance from the Northants seamers. Nathan Buck, on his Northants debut, and Ben Sanderson also took three wickets each as Glamorgan were bundled out in only 31.3 overs.

Then late in the day, Kleinveldt was back, this time bat in hand, to smear the bowling all over Wantage Road, his seemingly effortless power on show. In just 23 balls he heaved away seven four and three sixes - the pick of which a flat slap over long-on to bring up his fifty - to push Northants towards a match-winning lead.

With the ball, Kleinveldt set up the day with two early wickets before Buck produced a dream start to his Northants career. Buck arrived at from Lancashire over the winter with the aim of reviving a career that began with much promise at Leicestershire but stalled during two injury-affected seasons in the North West. But back in more homely East Midlands air, he showed the ability that brought him England Lions selection.

He struck second ball, drawing an edge from Colin Ingram to wicketkeeper Adam Rossington. Next over a full delivery trapped Chris Cooke lbw for a six-ball duck and Kieran Carlson followed with an edge to Alex Wakely, who took a sharp catch low down at second slip. The hat-trick wasn’t to be but Buck had plunged Glamorgan to 26 for 6 after Kleinveldt removed Nick Selman lbw for 10-ball duck in the third over of the day. David Lloyd shouldered arms and was also lbw, he for a five-ball duck, in the following over

Sanderson was equally as probing with the new ball and removed Jacques Rudolph caught at second slip for 9. He returned after lunch to induce an edge from Harry Podmore that was sharply held by Richard Levi at third slip.

It took several heaves from No. 10 Marchant de Lange - one a wild edge that flew for six over the slip cordon - to nudge Glamorgan into three figures but de Lange was last man out, swinging wildly at Sanderson and losing his off stump. It rounded off a very poor effort from the visitors.

Glamorgan tried to keep themselves in the game, reducing Northants to 27 for 3 before Wakely and Rossington shared 65 for the fourth wicket. Wakely fell to a top-edged pull for 38 - Rossington in the same fashion, but only after an attractive 84-ball fifty.

Rossington made a rapid century against Loughborough MCCU earlier in the week and looked in good touch here. He pulled Podmore for six over square leg and lifted de Lange over midwicket for the third of his five boundaries. But his best stroke was a sumptuous straight drive off Craig Meschede.

But his innings was completely overshadowed by Kleinveldt. He survived an early scare when he pulled to Kieran Carlson on the deep square boundary, only for Carlson to run out of room in trying to complete the catch. But thereafter used his power to brutal effect and put Northants into a match-winning position.

Kleinveldt said afterwards: "I don't think either captain knew what they wanted to do this morning but I could feel a bit of moisture so I wanted to bowl first and thankfully we did.

"We were relentless with the ball and put them under massive pressure and kept them under the pump. 

"The guys worked hard with the bat early on to set up the situation for me and Crooky coming in. I tried to back myself to clear the ropes and use the short boundary. I got myself into good positions and managed to get a few away well.

"From here, if we can bowl as well as we have done today in the second innings, we should have no trouble in winning this game," he added. 

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