After months of indifferent performances, the West Coast Rollers are finally starting to find some form, making it three wins from three following a thriller against Squirrels on Sunday.
The game was a perfect advertisement for social cricket - a beautiful venue, the opposition a brilliant bunch of guys, and the match itself going down to the wire with just about everyone contributing in one way or another.
Not that it started all that well for the Rollers, who lost the toss at Rondebosch CC and were sent in to field, with most of the squad still showing the after-effects of drinking free wine at our annual Bowls Day the day before.
Mielies and Shimmy got Squirrels off to a flyer, putting on 59 for the first wicket before Brendan Pieterse, one of three debutant for the visitors, picked up the former in the midst of a brilliant spell of slow left-arm bowling (7-0-22-1).
James Lamprecht (5-0-18-0), Cornell Keulder (7-2-25-1) and Ryan Cooper (5-0-18-1) kept it tight, but a number of dropped catch - five to be precise - allowed Andre Wagenaar to recover from a very scratchy start to eventually bludgeon his way to 62 off 52 balls, threatening a few fancy houses in the process.
Squirrels eventually finished on 164/6 in their 35 overs, though it could have been a lot worse but for Ruan de Jongh picking up two late wickets, including the big one of Bradley van Buege for 16.
The Rollers’ reply got off to a decent start courtesy of Cornell (18) and James Lamprecht, with the latter particularly classy in the 38-run partnership for the first wicket.
Tom Stapylton-Smith (11) came and went with two now trademark square drives for four, before James fell for a brilliant 36 to leave us at 74/3 after 15 overs.
Michael van Dewenter (11) and debutant Elbert Steyn set about restoring the run-chase, putting on a watchful 38 in 10 overs, but Elbert’s dismissal for 37 brought the hosts right back into the game.
However, Ryan found the middle of the bat a few times to finish on an unbeaten 33 off 27 balls as the Rollers walked away with a four-wicket win.
Loads of fun was had at the post-match fines session, including four memorable stumps (and some actual monetary bets being taken on whether Elbert would redecorate the Rondebosch CC outfield) and a bunch of hammers.
To Andre and his team, a brilliant game as always. Thanks for a great day out!
James Lamprecht 36 (off 45 balls, 6x4)
Cornell Keulder 18 (off 22 balls, 3x4)
Tom Stapylton-Smith 11 (off 13 balls, 2x4)
Michael van Dewenter 11 (off 35 balls, 1x4)
Elbert Steyn 37 (off 56 balls, 4x4)
Ryan Cooper 33* (off 27 balls, 5x4)
Mark Haselau 0 (off 7 balls)
Brendan Pieterse 2* (off 3 balls)
TOTAL: 167/6 (34.1 overs)
Cornell Keulder 7-2-25-2
Tom Stapylton-Smith 4-0-22-0
Brendan Pieterse 7-0-22-1
James Lamprecht 5-0-18-0
Ryan Cooper 5-0-18-1
Nicky Rheeder 4-0-26-0
Ruan de Jongh 3-0-27-2