James Lamprecht struck a majestic debut West Coast Rollers ton on Sunday, but it was still not enough as Black Batts cruised to a six-wicket win in a high-scoring game at the Gary Kirsten Oval.
Bizarrely, this was the first ever meeting between the two sides, and it turned out to be a memorable one.
Taking first strike on a great batting deck and quick outfield, the Rollers got off to a flyer as James and Andrew Young put on 28 for the first wicket inside four overs before the latter was trapped in front for 15.
The Cooper brothers (Neville 12 and Ryan 21) came and went, as did our long-lost comrade Claude Louw (2), who in all the years spent away has still not learnt to put the sweep shot away.
Precariously placed at 93/4 at drinks, it took a 71-run partnership between James and Nicky Rheeder to get us back on track. James was class personified, cutting and driving beautifully off both the front and back-foot, while Nicky dusted off the Black Widow once wielded by his father and hit three towering sixes … into the wind!
Nicky fell for 31, but Simon Drennan (23*) provided great support to James, who deservedly reached his century in the 33rd over, eventually finishing on 110 off 93 balls – only the third ever Roller to reach three figures.
So a stiff target of 238 for the Black Batts though, 32 overs later, apparently it wasn't.
The Rollers started well enough, with Tom Stapylton-Smith (5-0-37-1) getting Paul da Costa early on, before Simon pulled off a blinding diving catch in gully as Claude Louw snagged Mike Wilson.
Claude, coming off the type of long run-up usually ridiculed in social cricket, bowled brilliantly into the wind, reeling off seven overs on the trot to finish with 3/36.
That left Black Batts in a spot of bother at 83/4 after 17 overs. But that was as good as it got for the visitors.
Brandon Nash and Steve Palframan showed their class in an unbeaten 159-run partnership, with the latter particularly brutal with the wind at his back as he hit six sixes in his 96 (off just 60 balls), with Brandon (84 off 74) closing out the game with three overs to spare with a six over long-off.
Andrew Young (7-0-30-0) was the only one to escape the carnage, though we were all in agreement that we had front-row seats to an absolute batting masterclass.
Some fines, hammers and stories were shared afterwards with one thing for certain … this is a fixture that will become a regular one on the Rollers’ calendar.
Andrew Young 15 (off 14 balls, 1x6/2x4)
James Lamprecht 110 (off 93 balls, 2x6/15x4)
Neville Cooper 12 (off 16 balls, 2x4)
Ryan Cooper 21 (off 29 balls, 1x6/2x4)
Claude Louw 2 (off 4 balls)
Nicky Rheeder 31 (off 28 balls, 3x6/1x4)
Simon Drennan 23* (off 22 balls, 2x4)
Mark Blore 3* (off 4balls)
TOTAL: 237/6 (35 overs)
Tom Stapylton-Smith 5-0-37-1
Claude Louw 7-0-36-3
Andrew Young 7-0-30-0
Mark Blore 1-0-19-0
James Lamprecht 5-0-47-0
Nicky Rheeder 4-0-34-0
Ruan de Jongh 3-0-34-0