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Broken bones and broken dreams

It’s been a while since the Rollers got the better of Scorpions, and there would have been few better opportunities than Saturday for us to finally get the win.

Having started the season quite late, the Rollers were chomping at the bit to get going, though the searing heat didn’t take long to dampen the enthusiasm.

Still, batting first, we got off to a good start thanks to Hannes Moore (14) and Nic Slabbert, with the latter showing the benefits of regular cricket and nets (and not drinking before the game). He was eventually caught for a fighting 30, but the scoreboard kept ticking along nicely thanks to solid partnerships throughout.

Ryan Cooper fell one short of a half-century, while debutant Francois le Clus was cruising at 39 off 33 when he attempted a quick single and went down in a heap. The initial diagnosis by the batsman himself of a dislocated knee proved inaccurate - it turns out he had broken his tibia just below his knee.

This took a bit of the sting out of the Rollers’ charge and meant we probably ended about 30 short, though Peter Muller tried his damndest with an unbeaten 38 at almost 150 strike-rate which saw us over the 200-run mark.

We felt pretty confident defending 211 and, in reality, we should have quite easily, but two drop catches ultimately cost us dearly.

Tom Stapylton-Smith (7-2-26-0) bowled like a star, putting in seven overs on the trott in blistering heat - and in total defiance of his private school sensitive skin. It remains one of life’s great mysteries how he ended up wicketless.

The stuff at the other end was, well … less amazing. Peter’s heroics with the bat was quickly forgotten as he bowled three chest-high beamers and five wides in two overs, only being spared by umpire Gavin Stander’s forgiving nature and reluctance to exercise his arms too much as the sun beat down relentlessly.

Hannes (4-1-13-0) steadied the ship and the Rollers looked well placed after getting the important wickets of Johan Kapp (35) and Nico Ras (7), but we hadn’t factored in Christiaan Hugo who - apparently - last batted a year ago. It didn’t look it as he smashed an unbeaten 81 off 63 balls to take the Scorpions over the line with nine balls to spare, though he rode his luck with the aforementioned two spilled catches which could have changed the outcome.

Special mention to Nicky Rheeder (2/48) and Charl Bester (2/21), but in the end their efforts weren’t enough as the hosts cruised to a five-wicket win.

As ever, thanks to Kloppers, Hayden, Riaan and the rest of the Scorpions for a great day out!

Rollers vs Scorpions scorecard - 22_10_22
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