Key man Kleinveldt is roaring again at Northants

Rory Kleinveldt was in fine form against Glamorgan (pictures: Dave Ikin)

Rory Kleinveldt was in fine form against Glamorgan (pictures: Dave Ikin)

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He may often be the star of the show on the field, but Rory Kleinveldt rarely craves the limelight off it.

The quiet and unassuming South African prefers to keep his head down and do his talking in the thick of the action.

Northants have a great team spirit

Northants have a great team spirit

And how he did that last weekend as he got the better of Glamorgan with bat and ball.

Kleinveldt took three wickets in each innings, smashing a typically rapid 86 from 58 balls in between.

He hammered nine fours and four sixes in that trademark display of hitting, helping Northants up to 310 all out.

And it proved too much for Glamorgan, who backed up their meagre first-innings 101 with a slightly better 187 in the second.

It was a great start to the new season for Northants, and Kleinveldt, now in his third campaign at the County Ground, is looking forward to more good times ahead.

“It’s always good to be back in Northampton,” Kleinveldt said.

“Hopefully we can make this another successful season.”

It was certainly a successful season last time round as Northants claimed NatWest T20 Blast glory.

Kleinveldt’s heroics with bat and ball were key as David Ripley’s men upset the odds once again to win on finals day at Edgbaston.

And Kleinveldt said: “It was amazing to be part of.

“It was surreal really.

“No one expected us to do as well as what we did, but we proved all the critics wrong and hopefully we can do the same this summer.”

One of the keys to Northants’ success in recent seasons has been the close-knit nature of the squad.

They embrace comments about the size of some of their players and make light of it, using #bigbellysixes on social media.

Kleinveldt laughs when it is mentioned that they were labelled ‘The Units’ last season and shrugs it off as part of the entertainment the squad so enjoy.

“It’s just part of all the banter really,” said the 34-year-old.

“We take it in our stride and we know the most important thing is to deliver on the field and get the job done.

“Everyone gets along well and we’ve got some good banter in the changing room.

“It keeps us going through the summer, there’s a lot of cricket ahead and we need that camaraderie to get us through the summer.”

Kleinveldt was certainly hitting a few sixes last weekend and will look to do more damage in the championship fixture at Derbyshire, which starts on Friday.

But what does he enjoy more, hitting the stumps or hitting the ball out of the ground?

“I enjoy bowling a lot more,” Kleinveldt said. “That’s my skill, that’s my art, but when I can contribute with the bat, it’s good.

“I know how important my role is with the bat down the bottom of the order to get the team over the line or post a good score.

“I’ve been working hard on my batting and hopefully I can contribute again like I did last summer.

“We’ve got some very dangerous players, as we proved last year.

“It’s just about getting consistency in our games, rolling it out week in, week out and putting in big scores.”