The West Coast Rollers produced arguably their most complete performance in many years to secure a 63-run victory against Claremont Gents on Sunday afternoon.
On a ground where we’ve chased more leather - courtesy of the likes of Colin, Sharpie, Bertie, Henning and Co - than we care to remember over the years, it all finally came together as we got one over the Gents for the first time in eight years!
Much to Richard Gill’s annoyance, the Rollers won the toss and decided to bat first on arguably the best pitch in the FCA, and one of the quickest outfields.
Cornell Keulder and James Lamprecht got the visitors off to a great start, putting on 41 for the first wicket inside eight overs before the latter was castled for 18.
Cornell, fresh off a match-winning 63 against Pumas, continued his fine form and, along with Hannes Moore, put on 51 for the second wicket. It took a fine caught and bowled effort by Dean Ashworth to end Cornell’s stay, for 43 off just 41 balls, before Hannes was knicked off for a fluent 31.
The Gents were well in it with the Rollers at 114/3 after 21 overs, but Ryan Cooper managed to find some form for a change and set about the bowling, taking 43 off three consecutive overs from Gill and Steve Atkinson before being trapped LBW for 91 off 58 balls to help set a target of 226.
In most other years, it probably wouldn’t have been much of a problem for the very strong Gents batting line-up. But, in most other years, the Rollers couldn’t catch a cold.
On Sunday, however, everything stuck, starting with two slip catches off consecutive Cornell (5-1-15-2) deliveries which accounted for Bertie Erasmus (4) and Bruce Sharp (0).
James (5-0-24-2) came on first change and got Wynand van Zyl (29) and Mark Ferrao (10) - two more smart catches by debutant Kobus Muller and Tom Stapylton-Smith - before Hannes Carlson was brought on to weave his magic. And weave magic he did.
The Rollers’ all-time leading wicket-taker first had the big-hitting Henning Swanepoel (26) spectacularly caught at short third man by James, before getting Steve Atkinson brilliantly caught on the fence by Hannes. Two balls later and Gill was sent packing for a duck as Casper finished with figures of 7-1-31-3.
Kobus (1/31), Michael van Dewenter (1/13) and Ruan de Jongh (1/13) completed the wicket-taking - the latter a very sharp caught and bowled chance - as the Rollers romped to a 63-run win.
The post-match facilities were a celebration of a great game of cricket played in the perfect way - lots of banter, lots of laughs, and lots of respect.
Many thanks to Gilly and his charges for a memorable day out and for all the ‘hammer’ entertainment. Special thanks to the live band on show, 50 Shades, who entertained throughout and seemingly delivered a wicket every time they played. As Leon Theron pointed out when the band announced they would be back in three minutes … ‘Wicket Time!!’.
James Lamprecht 18 (off 30 balls, 1x6, 2x4)
Cornell Keulder 43 (off 41 balls, 1x6, 4x4)
Hannes Moore 31 (off 42 balls, 4x4)
Ryan Cooper 91 (off 58 balls, 3x6, 12x4)
Michael van Dewenter 4 (off 7 balls)
Tom Stapylton-Smith 13 (off 14 balls, 1x6)
Neville Cooper 8* (off 10 balls)
Hannes Carlson 5 (off 4 balls, 1x4)
Kobus Muller 2 (off 3 balls)
Leon Theron 1* (off 1 ball)
TOTAL: 225/8 (35 overs)
Cornell Keulder 5-1-15-2
Tom Stapylton-Smith 4-0-28-0
James Lamprecht 5-0-24-2
Hannes Carlson 7-1-31-3
Kobus Muller 5-0-31-1
Ruan de Jongh 3.3-0-13-1
Michael van Dewenter 1-0-13-1