If ever anyone was unsure as to the meaning behind ‘West Coast Rollers’, they need have only been present at Elgin Country Club for our final game of the 2013/14 season.
We have had some bad collapses in our time – two weeks ago against WPCC being one, and that time when Edgemead dismissed us for 75 runs a few years ago.
But what happened in Grabouw on April 12, 2014 was so bizarre that even an Indian bookmaker who have raised an eyebrow.
It all started well enough though. George Kamfer, leading the side on tour, lost a good toss as the hosts elected to bat on a wicket which was provided enough turn and bounce, if not a bit on the slow side.
Ryan Cooper got a caught-and bowled in the first over, before taking one for the team in the fourth, getting smashed in the back at short-leg off Jacques Laubsher’s bowling, only for the batsman to step on his stumps.
Elgin were three wickets down by the fifth over when Cornell Keulder’s second ball crashed into the stumps, before Jakes Oberholzer (1/28) got in on the act to leave the hosts reeling at 39/4 inside 10 overs.
Hannes Carlson (1/36) and Michael van Dewenter (2/7) ensured that there was a steady progression of wickets, but all the while there was batsman who looked like he was playing on a completely different service.
Jack, a hockey player from Zimbabwe, was smashing it to all parts through a combination of wristy flicks over leg and some straight smashing.
He was well on his way to a well-deserved 100 before Ryan (2/25) and Cornell (3/11) returned to wrap up the tail with three overs to spare – 147 the target, with Jack unbeaten on 83.
It wasn’t going to be easy going at 4+ an over on the wicket, but the boundaries weren’t too big and the field relatively quick. Also, we had a strong batting line-up …
Casper, without a tour run in seven years, managed to shake off a half-jack of Richelieu for breakfast to get us off to a flying start, putting up a 23-run opening stand with Cornell before losing his wicket for 21.
Francois Geldenhuys strode to the wicket and along with Cornell looked hugely unbothered as they took the score to 70/1. Then it all came crashing down …
First Cornell was bowled for 21, before Francois (20) hit Jack – yes, that one – straight down long-on’s throat.
Still in the same over, Francois Siebrits was caught for a duck, before Neville Cooper (1) nicked one. George managed to see off the hat-trick ball, but the carnage was only just starting.
Ryan (8) was caught behind in Jack’s next over, before Jakes was trapped in front – the boy wonder this time missing out on a wicket.
However, he was soon back in the action as George (2) was stumped, Scooter (1) misread a googly for a leggie as was bowled around the legs, and Michael (0) skied a ball to wrap up the innings for 85.
From 70/1 to 85 all out … nine wickets for 15 runs. WTF! The last eight batsmen scores reading like a cellphone number: 1, 0, 8, 2, 1, 0, 1, 1. Jack finishing with the remarkable figures of 3-0-9-7!
The collapse was so spectacular that we were still in shock when the fines began, but eventually we pulled ourselves towards ourselves to regain some respectability and edge (we believe) the post-match festivities.
A truly bizarre game and a heavy defeat, but still an enjoyable end to a season which started so well, but fell away badly in the second half.