The West Coast Rollers finished a highly-successful season in emphatic style with a 167-run victory against The Craig Matthews Band at Gardens on Sunday.
With little known about our opponents, we put out a powerful team to combat any potential ringers we may come up against. What we found was that while there were no ringers, there were a bunch of great dudes who love their cricket - and a drink or two.
With captain Michael van Dewenter winning his eighth toss in nine attempts, the Rollers batted first, but were on the back-foot early on as Tom Stapylton-Smith (4) and Ryan Cooper (7) departed for not too many.
However, Cornell Keulder continued his amazing form this season, smashing the bowlers to all parts (mostly straight back over their heads) as he made a two-paced pitch look decidedly flat.
But his dismissal for 51 (off 33 deliveries), coupled with the early departures of Neville Cooper (1) and James Lamprecht (7), left the visitors precariously placed at 103/5 shortly after the drinks break.
Enter Nicky Rheeder and some other guy (let’s call him Jarryd van Wyk for now), who launched into a fierce assault of the bowlers, putting on 101 for the sixth wicket in just 14 overs.
Nicky fell five runs short of a well-deserved first ever Rollers 50, while the other guy was dropped four times before a fifth-time lucky occasion for TCMB. That said, in-between the four shit shots there were some half-decent ones as well…
Big Mike then came in at 11 and smashed 17* off 11 balls as the Rollers posted a very imposing 232/9 in 35 overs.
The hosts’ response looked threatening for roughly five deliveries before Cornell worked his magic, picking up 3/13 in three overs to join Hannes Carlson as the Rollers’ all-time leading wicket-taker (141). Tom bowled like a demon at the other end as well, being unfortunate to only get 1/7 in his three.
Wickets continued to fall, with Nicky (2/15) cementing his position as the season’s leading wicket-taker, while Mike (1/9) and Andrew Young (1/1) also got in on the act.
But the best was saved for last, with Mark proving near unplayable from the Table Mountain end. Swinging the ball away and cutting it in at ferocious pace, he finished with a career-best 2/15 (helped by some brilliant appealing from the slip cordon, as seen below) as TCMB crumbled to 65 all out.
The positive about the early finish was the socialising afterwards, with the Gardens barmen working overtime, and the hosts taking a particular liking to the hammer.
So the Rollers finish the season with eight wins from nine matches; the only defeat coming in a proper blowout at Distell against Scorpions. Thanks to all the players who took to the field this season, and well done Mike on a fantastic debut season as skipper.