Talk about a turnaround in fortunes – last year the Rollers set the Coastal Strikers 230 to win … and they made it with four overs to spare. This time around they didn’t even reach 70.
On a ridiculously hot day in Brackenfell, the Rollers opted to bat first on a pitch that looked placid, but which had more than a few demons in it, as openers Ryan Cooper and Louis Pretorius found of quickly enough. Louis was pinned trying to pull, while Ryan knocked one away in front of his eyes with his bat handle.
Sure enough, Ryan was out soon afterwards for 14 as he skied a pull, while Mark da Silva was run out for 10 to leave the visitors 61/2. Cue a 51-run partnership between Louis and Cornell Keulder, with the latter playing a measured innings before being caught for 19.
All the while Louis was playing a very mature knock – not bad considering he scored his first run in the seventh over – before running down the track with his score on 38 and knicking one through to the keeper.
Wayne Moore showed off some more of his new ‘forward defensive’ moves before smashing a long, straight one on his way to 19, but his departure was followed by the now traditional Koeberg Roll as Neville Cooper skied a short one for one, before Jacques Laubscher was bowled for five and Charl Viljoen followed for a quick-fire 12, which included a very fine backfoot drive for four.
And with Fergus Payne (11*) – playing his first game for the Rollers this season - kept the ship afloat, the visitors reached 157/8 after 35 overs, probably about 20 short, or so we thought.
Truth be told, the game was wrapped after 10 overs as the Strikers lost five early wickets, including two in the second over as Cornell bowled with incredible pace and the slips actually managed to hold onto a few.
Ryan bowled a tidy spell of 4 overs for four runs and the wicket of Riaan Gerber, before Mark came on to churn out an equally ‘twoit’ spell of 2/8 in his four, which also included a run out after some sharp work at square-leg by Fergus.
So the Strikers completely out of it – and it could have been even worse had Christo walked when he knicked the ball off Casper. Instead, he went on to smash a few boundaries on his way to 30 (the next highest score being 12).
And with the sun baking down and the beers calling, the captain decided to put an end to this madness, bring on Cornell to wrap up the job. It took him all of five balls to get the two remaining wickets, including hitting the number 11 on his pads, who responded with a “Eina, dis tot seer deur die pads.” He was put out of his misery a ball later though.
So 68 all out inside 20 overs – not the closest game ever, but a welcome relief from the searing heat.
To the Strikers’ credit, they did put up a decent fight in the drinking afterwards – in fact, they may even have shaded it, having bought a round of double brandies and coke for down-downs after losing so heavily.
Man of the Match: A good knock by Louis, but Cornell takes the prize for his 4/8 in four overs – perfect proof of the notion that sex before exercise works.
Chirp of the Day: Welcome back Fergus, who tunes the number three batsman, after a few wild swings: “If you want to play like Sehwag you actually need to be Sehwag.”