Kleinveldt continues to show his class at Northants

It has been yet another week that has showcased the importance of South African star Rory Kleinveldt to Northants.

By Tom Vickers
Saturday, 5th September 2015, 7:00 am
Rory Kleinveldt (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
Rory Kleinveldt (picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Last Saturday, the well-built bowler impressed as the Steelbacks shot down the Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast semi-final at Edgbaston.

And although he couldn’t come to the fore in the final, he was soon back doing what he does best in the County Championship clash with Essex, which began on Tuesday.

Kleinveldt, who arrived at Northants at the beginning of this season, claimed his 50th first-class victim of the campaign in that encounter.

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Only two overseas players have more wickets this season, with Sussex’s Steve Magoffin and Leicestershire’s Clint McKay leading the way.

And Northants head coach David Ripley is delighted with the impact his astute signing is having on all formats of the game.

“You talk about value for money and that’s exactly what we’ve got from Rory,” said Ripley.

“He’s played in virtually all of our games in all formats, he’s took his catches, he’s got 50 first class wickets and he’s hit the wicket hard in one-day games up front.

“He’s taken wickets and contributed fully in the dressing room.

“We’re delighted with what Rory’s given us.”

Kleinveldt has another year left on his county contract and Ripley would like to extend that stay even further.

He is also keen to keep hold of Richard Levi, Kleinveldt’s countryman, who finished top of Northants’ T20 batting averages.

“Rory has another year left, which is no problem,” said Ripley. “We’re hopeful we might be able to push it even further than that.

“And we’re in discussions with Richard.”

Kleinveldt and Levi both played huge roles as Northants recovered from three North Group successive defeats to reach the knock-out stages and ultimately the final in the T20 tournament.

And Ripley said: “My first thought was that I was proud of the players.

“We didn’t want to start the competition so slowly, that wasn’t part of our plan but to go from bottom of the league - played three, lost three - to the final was great.

“There was a lot of fight and team spirit, but skill as well.”