Ben Kitt enjoyed himself in the South Wales sunshine as Nottinghamshire put in a good shift with the ball on the opening day of their friendly against Glamorgan at The SSE SWALEC Stadium in Cardiff.
The 22-year old seamer, who was handed his first professional contract during the off season, returned figures of five for 37 as the home county were made to struggle, despite a splendid innings of 97 from opener Nick Selman.
With the next best scores being 31 and 16, Glamorgan were bowled out for 221 in 68.3 overs. Harry Gurney (2-42), Brett Hutton (2-51) and Samit Patel (1-13) were the other wicket takers.
Jake Libby and Greg Smith remained together in the final part of the day as Notts responded with an opening partnership worth exactly 50.
There was no disguising Kitt’s delight at the close, although he felt he could have done even better.
“To be honest, I didn’t bowl as well as I bowled at Loughborough last week,” he said. “But sometimes you have days where you bowl bad balls and take wickets, so it was a little bit like that but the day, as a whole, went alright for me.”
His haul of wickets began with that of former South African Test player Jacques Rudolph.
“The one before didn’t swing and that one did. It was nice to get such a good player out straight away. That gives you a bit of confidence. It swung back nicely and he left it alone, fortunately.
“I was a little bit nervous at the start but not too bad and once you take a wicket early doors it settles you right down.”
Kitt admitted that as part of the first team squad he’ll be doing all he can to force a way into Peter Moores’ championship team.
“There’s quite a few seamers here. I’ve just got to do what I do and get myself as close to the first team as I can. If I do get a chance then I’ve got to try and take it with both hands.”
The young seamer left the ground clutching a memento of the day, after bagging his fifth wicket with a sharp caught and bowled. “I thought it was coming a bit quicker than it was, so it probably looked a better catch than it should have, but it was a good feeling and I’ve got the ball. I’ll be keeping that.”
Rudolph (2) had scored a century when Notts last played on this ground in 2014 and also reached three figures in last week’s first class match against Cardiff MCCU.
Despite that recent success he was found wanting in the first over of the match. After pushing Kitt’s third delivery into the off side for a couple, he misjudged the next ball and lost his off pole.
Kitt, bowling lively right-arm medium-fast from the River End, had further success in his opening burst of seven overs when David Lloyd (13) was safely taken by Riki Wessels at first slip.
Nick Selman had opened his account with a streaky four through the catching cordon, off Stuart Broad.
A succession of well-timed drives and leg side clips caught the eye and he reached a deserved half century on the stroke of lunch (96-2), getting there in the same way he’d begun his innings, with a four to third man, this time off Samit Patel.
Selman had brought up his 50 with his ninth boundary and it came from 81 deliveries faced.
Kieran Carlson was unbeaten on 27 after the first session, rotating the strike nicely to the delight of a watching audience of around 150 people.
The afternoon began with Selman twice stroking Broad through the covers for four, the first boundary taking the Glamorgan total into three figures.
Notts needed a lift and it came when the third wicket stand of 89 was broken by Brett Hutton who had Carlson (31) caught by a diving Chris Read.
Harry Gurney produced a superb delivery to remove Aneurin Donald (16), getting the batsman to nibble behind at one that just shaped away from around the wicket.
Chris Cooke, one of only two Glamorgan survivors in this team from the one that played against Notts at Lord’s in 2013, only lasted two balls before being bowled by Gurney, to leave the home side on 155 for five.
Kitt’s return spell was as impressive as his first and spelt the end for Selman, who came up just short of a hundred when he played on in the Cornishman’s first over back.
Owen Morgan (6) didn’t last long against the youngster either, feathering outside his off stump to give the visiting captain his third catch of the afternoon.
Kitt didn’t need the help of any team-mates to get his five-fer, superbly snapping-up a low caught and bowled to remove Craig Meschede (16) just before tea.
Jack Murphy (0) didn’t last long afterwards, pushing forward at Samit Patel and being stumped.
Notts were held up by a frustrating last wicket partnership of 21, spanning nine overs, but it ended in a fitting manner.
Lukas Carey (3) pulled Hutton high down to fine leg, where Kitt took a well-judged catch. Andrew Salter remained unbeaten on 20.
In the closing 70 minutes of the day, Jake Libby and Greg Smith combined with an assured opening stand. Glamorgan rang the changes, using six different bowlers (as Notts had done earlier) but the right-handers consolidated with an unbroken stand of 50.
Smith will resume on 24 not out, with Libby on 23, when the final day of this friendly gets underway on Monday morning.
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