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Kent sign South Africa fast bowler Hardus Viljoen for the final four matches of the Championship season

By Alex Hoad

Kent have boosted their promotion chances in the County Championship by signing South Africa fast bowler Hardus Viljoen for the final four matches of the season.

The 27-year-old right-armer has taken 325 first-class wickets at an average of 26.66 and has previously played alongside Kagiso Rabada who shone for Kent during an overseas stint earlier in the summer.

Sam Northeast. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Sam Northeast. Picture: Barry Goodwin

The 6ft 4in paceman has 19 five-wicket hauls in 83 red-ball matches to date and made his Test debut in January 2016 against England at Johannesburg.

On that occasion he took a wicket with his first ball, only the 20th man to achieve the feat, dismissing captain Alastair Cook.

Viljoen said: “I’m delighted to join Kent and experience county cricket.

“I’ve just played a tri-series for South Africa A so I feel in good shape after a few weeks off.

"I'm looking forward to representing Kent and I will give it my all as it's always been a dream to play county cricket."

The new signing arrived in the UK on Friday and will join up with the Kent squad ahead of trips to Gloucestershire on Tuesday and Sussex on August 31.

He could make his home debut against Northamptonshire at Beckenham on September 6 with Kent welcoming Essex to Canterbury on September 20.

Chairman of cricket Graham Johnson said: “We’ve carried a lot of injuries in the seam bowling department this summer.

“With four important games left in the campaign we wanted to give ourselves the best chance to build on the work done to get us into the current position to challenge for that one promotion spot.

"The experience and spark that Hardus can bring will be important in the run in."

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