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Rollers get blown away – literally

Having played in the Boland league for many years, the majority of the Rollers know bad conditions better than most – unprepared pitches that look like the Grand Canyon, broken glass and thorns in the outfield, going to shebeens in Atlantis for after-match beers …

So imagine our surprise at a completely new experience … playing cricket in a hurricane. For that’s just about what it was, a hurricane.

Now imagine doing this after two hours’ sleep and copious amounts of alcohol in an evening which included nudity, police and karaoke at 7am in the morning. And this is not even including Cornell Keulder’s shenanigans.

But that’s neither here nor there. The just of the story is we played cricket in Fishhoek, and it was shit. And we lost. Again.

Asked to bat in the wind tunnel, the Rollers got off to a shaky start when Nicky Rheeder top-edged a pull shot to square-leg, before the grossly inappropriate Mayor of Melkbos Nico Rheeder strode to the wicket and joined in a 48-run partnership with Hannes Moore.

They took the score to 56 before Slang was caught in the slips for 18, and that soon became 68/4 as aforementioned Cornell (2) and Gerald Jooste thought better of spending their Sunday afternoon in the wind and rushed back to the comforts of the clubhouse.

Neville Cooper looked good for a sprightly 12 before losing his wicket, bringing Jacques Laubscher and his spanking new Black Window bat to the centre. Rather unsurprisingly, his first boundary with the new willow was a cut shot. Funny that …

Kepler Moore eventually departed to an excellent caught and bowl for 44 (breezing and wheezing like a 70-year-old on his way off the field), before Ryan Cooper joined Scooter for a breezy 50-run partnership which took the score to 140/7 and included the latter running a three and a whole heap of twos.

So once again not enough runs on the board, but our start with the ball suggested we were in for an early afternoon and an easy victory.

Gerald had the opener caught by Nicky at backward point off only his fourth ball, while Ryan took two sticks at the other end – the second an incredible catch by Mark da Silva, donning the keeper gloves after Neville opted for the safety of the outfield to avoid Cornell’s skidders.

So 7/3 then, but a good fifth-wicket stand of 41 put them right back into contention before Cornell got his first of the day. Another 31-run stand looked to have given them the advantage, but a double-strike from Mark and Nico meant they needed 50 with only four wickets in the bank.

However, credit to the old man Spengler, who strode out with his 1972 Duncan Fernley and played a gem of a knock, including some lovely cover drives off our Tasmanian Devil. Cornell eventually cleaned him up, and the next batsman second ball, but by then they needed only four runs, and Ryan’s comeback over was hardly the stuff of screenplays as they knocked off the runs in just three balls.

So another defeat, leaving one game and the tour to end a rather disappointing season on a high. Even the after-match drinks was a damp squib, with the Rollers in no fit state to keep on drinking.

Chirp of the Day: ‘<enter phrase> jou neus deur my hol’. Never lost its appeal.

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