It wasn’t quite the AB de Villiers blitzkrieg that the Windies endured, but the Rollers were also on the receiving end of a ferocious beating at Grook Drakenstein on Sunday.
It had been three long years since we last made the trip to Franschhoek, and during that time the Groot Drak guys have undergone something of a transformation.
And despite the four-wicket defeat we suffered, the general consensus amongst the Rollers after a very enjoyable day both on and off the field was that it was a change for the better.
As per tradition at the venue, the Rollers batted first against a strong bowling attack and some inspired fielding.
Claude Louw (4) and Neville Cooper (2) soon found themselves back in the hut, and Francois Siebrits followed shortly afterwards for a brisk 11, run out as he was trying to unhook the trailer.
Ryan Cooper and Michael van Dewenter restored some parity with a 40-run partnership, but Jannes Mouton’s (3/23) introduction to the bowling line-up ripped the heart out of the middle-order.
First he castled Big Mike (12), and the very next ball yorked Cornell Keulder (0). Jakes Oberholzer (9) provided some resistance before the big man got him as well.
Ryan’s resistance ended when he was bowled for 37, leaving Hannes Carlson (17) to drag us to a not so respectable 123 all out – with nine overs still to bowl!
If we were to have any chance of pulling off an unlikely victory we needed early wickets.
Three overs in and we already had three, with Cornell bowling two of the best yorkers you’ll ever see to get rid of Michael McCort (0) and Mouton (1), and Jakes getting some late movement to castle Christian Adlem.
That left Groot Drak reeling at 9/3, and Cornell’s hat-trick ball to Wynand ‘Faf’ Grobler missed the off stump by a matter of inches.
But that was as good as it got …
The SA hockey player, with his mate Faf du Plessies’ bat in hand, counterpunched the shit out of us, with no bowler spared.
In the space of seven overs he took the score from 9/3 to 79/3 with some massive sixes, retiring on 51 and the game all but secured.
Groot Drak had something of a mini-wobble when Ryan (1/11) and Big Mike (2/6) got amongst the wickets, but the damage had been done as the hosts romped to a four-wicket win – with 17 overs to spare!
Still, some good fines were had after the game, with Andrew Young having clearly picked up a few pointers from the Cape Town CC fines-master as he laid into the players.
Thanks again to Morne Landman (promise I won’t mention your second-ball duck) and his team for a very enjoyable afternoon, including one of the best ‘stumps’ I’d ever seen from Hendrie Zeelie.
Next game against Gardens on February 1.
Francois Siebrits 11 (2×4) Claude Louw 4 (1×4) Neville Cooper 2 Ryan Cooper 37 (3×4) Michael van Dewenter 12 (2×4) Cornell Keulder 0 Jakes Oberholzer 9 (1×4) Hannes Carlson 17 (3×4) Andrew Young 0 George Kamfer 1 Jacques Laubscher 1*
Extras: 28 TOTAL: 123 all out
Cornell Keulder 5.5-0-45-2 Jakes Oberholzer 4-0-38-1 Jacques Laubscher 1-0-9-0 Claude Louw 1-0-1-0 Hannes Carlson 2-0-17-0 Ryan Cooper 2-0-11-1 Michael van Dewenter 2-0-6-2