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An ode to Sheldon Smorenberg

Cliches are a dime a dozen, but that does not mean they don’t ring true. And one in particular proved spot on as the Rollers faced MLC on Sunday … “It’s not over until the fat lady sings”.

It’s been a weird sort of season for the Rollers. Our bowling and fielding has been top-class, but the batting a disaster – yet we have still won every game.

That was again the case at Durbanville, where the visitors looked dead and buried three-quarters through the game – and the opposing players (Sheldon) made it quite clear – only to come back and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

The hosts got off to a brisk start after winning the toss, with Werner and Gary taking the score to 28 after four overs before Andrew Young (4-0-20-1) had the latter caught at slip.

Unperturbed, Allister joined Werner and they took a liking to all the bowlers, smashing their way to 67 after 11 overs before Cornell Keulder (6-0-26-1) and Jacques Laubscher (5-0-30-1) got in on the act.

That brought about a steady succession of wickets, with only former Roller Fergus Payne holding his own with a fine unbeaten 38 as MLC reached 167/8 off 30 overs.

Nico Rheeder was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 5-0-18-2.

The Rollers’ reply did not get off to the greatest start, with TFC recipient Hannes Carlson (2) departing early.

Andrew and Ryan Cooper took the score to 36 before the former was caught behind, while Nicky Rheeder looked threatening in his brief stay of 15 before being cruelly gunned LBW.

Ryan (26), Nico (1), Izak de Beer (4) and Cornell (0) departed in quick succession to leave the Rollers precariously placed at 80/7, sparking outlandish and premature celebrations from the afore-mentioned Sheldon.

But such is the beauty of the Lotto batting system that it is, indeed, never over until that fat bitch makes herself heard, and Neville Cooper and Michael’s 82-run partnership for the eighth wicket turned the tide.

Mike (24), coming off three successive first ballers, was the aggressor and was unlucky not to see it through, while Neville batted with some intelligence and a lot of skill to finish on a brilliant unbeaten 64.

Jacques Laubscher duly cut the winning runs to the boundary with seven balls to spare, leading the Rollers to a two-wicket victory to make it three wins on the trot.

BATTING Hannes Carlson   2 Andrew Young   9 (1×4) Ryan Cooper   26 (3×4) Nicky Rheeder   15 (3×4) Nico Rheeder   1 Izak de Beer   4 Neville Cooper   64* (8×4) Cornell Keulder   0 Michael van Dewenter   24 (1×6, 2×4) Jacques Laubscher   5* (1×4)

Extras: 18 TOTAL: 169/8 (28.5 overs)

BOWLING Andrew Young   4-0-20-1 Michael van Dewenter   4-0-22-0 Cornell Keulder   6-0-26-1 Jacques Laubscher   5-0-30-1 Nico Rheeder   5-0-18-2 Ryan Cooper   4-0-17-1 Nicky Rheeder   2-0-10-0

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