South Africa’s Test specialist Vernon Philander’s county stint has gone awry as the right arm seamer was forced to return to South Africa after suffering a groin injury during Sussex’s County Championship match against Kent last weekend.

The Proteas seamer will return to South Africa this week for rest, recovery, and rehabilitation.

The injury, which he picked up in the first innings of the four – day match, will see him out of action for a period of two to three weeks. He was unable to bowl in the latter stages of the first innings and did not participate entirely in the second innings.

The injury, however, doesn’t seem to be a major one, as Sussex have confirmed that Philander will return to the team after a fitness test after three weeks.

If Philander managed to pass the fitness hurdle, he will be available for the remaining four County Championship matches fulfilling his contract with the club before it finishes in the middle of June.

The South African did not have a great match, as he was able to score only 21 runs and went wicketless in the match, as Kent registered a massive win by 226 runs. Sussex experienced a complete failure in both the departments.

After being put to bowl first, Sussex allowed Kent to recover from setbacks on multiple occasions, allowing them to set 304 in the first innings. Opener Sean Dickson (68) and Darren Stevens (68) were the top contributors with the bat. Jofra Archer was the top performer with the ball with an innings haul of 7/67. Philander bowled 17 overs and gave away 57 runs for no wickets.

In response, Sussex started off badly, as Wayne Parnell and Matt Coles, Kent’s opening bowlers, snapped early wickets. The damage inflicted at the early stages of the innings was fortunately resurrected by Ben Brown who hit a fluent 90 batting at No.8 to rescue his side.

Thanks to his knock, the batting side was able to finish at 291, just 13 short of Kent’s first innings total.

The match turned in Kent’s favour in the second innings after San Northeast (173) struck a fabulous unbeaten century and lead his side to 413/5. Philander was unavailable, as the depleted attack failed to contain the opposition batting order.

Chasing a target of 427, Sussex did not show fight and got bundled out for just 200, handing over a handsome victory to the opposition.


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