The West Coast Rollers’ dire start to the 2018/19 season continued on Sunday with a five-wicket defeat to Cape Town Cricket Club at the Boon Wallace Oval.
In years gone by, the Rollers tended to start a campaign like a house of fire before tapering off at the end, and one hopes that trend reverses this time round following a third defeat in four games.
And yet it all started so promisingly …
On a glorious pitch and outfield, the Rollers took first strike and got off to a flyer courtesy of Andrew Young and Neville Cooper.
A patient start transformed into a brilliant exhibition of stroke-play as pair put on 77 for the first wicket until Andrew got cleaned up by the brisk, if not slightly erratic, Dan for 35.
James Lamprecht, fresh off his highest score for the team last week, looked in imperious form, highlighted by a brilliant straight drive four to get his innings going.
Together they added 58 for the second wicket before James was bowled for 27, but Neville kept going at the other end, cutting and driving his way to a fantastic – and career high – 81 before being stumped with three overs to go.
Ryan Cooper got a quickfire 31 as the Rollers posted a seemingly impressive 193/4 in 35 overs.
Tom Stapylton-Smith (4-0-24-1) took the new ball and picked an early wicket, but that was as good as it got for a while.
Saunders was not going to waste his time running as he hit a quick 35 with just three singles, before Darren Nash (15) took a liking to some loose bowling as well.
But it was at the other end where the real troubles lay, with Gareth playing shots all around the wicket as he took the game away from the visitors.
Cornell Keulder (5-0-28-2) tried his best, but by the time Cameran Young (7-0-32-2) bowled Gareth for 86, the game was all but done, with Storm (33*) showing great maturity in guiding his side home, before Graham tried to steal the glory with two massive sixes to seal a five-wicket win.
Another big loss for the Rollers – whose task doesn’t get easier next week against Wellington – but once again great fun was had after the game as Charles and the CTCC boys entertained.
Thanks again for a game played in an excellent spirit, in excellent conditions and with excellent bar prices, and good luck to Bernie and Roger at the Over-50 World Cup.
Batting Andrew Young 35 (5×4) Neville Cooper 81 (12×4) James Lamprecht 27 (4×4) Ryan Cooper 31 (4×4) Cornell Keulder 6*
Extras: 7 TOTAL: 193/4 (35 overs)
Bowling Michael van Dewenter 4-1-27-0 Tom Stapylton-Smith 4-0-24-1 Cornell Keulder 5-0-28-2 Ryan Cooper 4-0-23-0 Cameran Young 7-0-32-2 Jacques Laubscher 4-0-38-0 Stuart Bruce 1.3-0-24-0