After the calamity that was Claremont Gents two weeks ago, the Rollers bounced back in brilliant fashion against Gardens, securing a comfortable – if not delayed – seven-wicket victory.
On a beautiful day at arguably the most beautiful venue in world cricket, Neville ‘Stephen Fleming’ Cooper won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket that offered a little bit for the seamers.
And the opening bowlers made the most of the assistance, with Ryan Cooper bowling Scott with his fourth ball, before Cornell Keulder, who virtually unplayable in his seven overs, castled Clive, leaving the hosts reeling at 11/2.
Dylan, the flame-grilled second-shot wonder who came in at four, gave Gardens a brief respite with some edges over the slip cordon but he, and the rest of his middle-order, had no answer to our not-so-secret weapon.
Jakes Oberholzer, having arrived eight overs late, was virtually still tying his bootlaces when Neville tossed him the ball, and he nonchalantly removed the other opener with his first delivery, before running through the rest of the batting line-up like a hot vindaloo.
‘Coach’ eventually finished up with the incredible figures of 7-2-9-5 to leave Gardens at 59/9 and seemingly an early afternoon in sight. However, the last wicket provided stubborn resistance and held on till the third-last over before Ryan bounced a kid to leave them all out for 95.
It was a great bowling a fielding performance all-round, with the likes of Cornell (7-0-13-1) and Hannes Carlson (5-2-9-1) particularly good. Even Hannes Englebrecht (2-0-4-1) turned his arm over, taking his first wicket in three years before the captain cruelly ended his spell.
So 96 to chase and, given our recent batting wobbles, not entirely a walk in the park. However, Haas and Tim Sant got us off to the start we needed, putting on 55 for the first wicket. Haas had a fierce battle with the excitable redhead, top-edging him for a six after being hit on the gloves.
He was eventually gunned LBW for 16, and Ryan’s brisk 13 meant only 19 was needed when Michael van Dewenter strode to the crease, joining the solid, if tiring, Tim.
And our English import could well have recorded his first half-century for the Rollers but decided against running when hitting the ball into the outfield, resulting in only one run and leaving him three short.
Still, he was there at the end to safely secure a seven-wicket victory for the Rollers, who once again won the down-downs afterwards as well.
Big-up to the hosts for looking after us with beers and a fish braai afterwards – glad we could help make such a healthy profit for your bar.
BATTING Hannes Engelbrecht 16 (1×6, 1×4) Tim Sant 47* (6×4) Ryan Cooper 13 (1×6) Jakes Oberholzer 0 Michael van Dewenter 10* (1×4)
Extras 10 TOTAL 96/3 (28.3 overs)
BOWLING Cornell Keulder 7-0-13-1 Ryan Cooper 5.2-0-20-2 Jakes Oberholzer 7-2-9-5 Hannes Carlson 5-2-9-1 Hannes Engelbrecht 2-0-4-1 Michael van Dewenter 3-0-20-0 Tim Sant 4-1-11-0