After the arse-whipping handed down to us by Groot Drak a fortnight ago, the Rollers bounced back to winning ways with a closer-than-it-should-have-been three-wicket win against Gardens.
With some of the home team arriving a bit late, the Rollers were asked to field on a track that had a bit of life early on.
And just six balls into the innings, the visitors had all but secured the game as Cornell Keulder produced another blistering opening spell.
Against Groot Drak he took two wickets in his first seven balls, and at Gardens on Sunday he produced an even better effort, taking three wickets in his first over, including a peach of a first delivery to take care of the somewhat grumpy Greg.
Ryan Cooper picked up another wicket from the other end to leave the hosts reeling at 14/4 but, to their credit, Gardens were determined to make us fight for victory and set about restoring the innings.
Key to that was Hanno, who saw out Cornell in some style before taking a liking to rest of us. He found a willing partner in Cheslyn as the two added 45 for the fifth wicket.
But then came Jacques Laubscher…
The veteran offspinner showed all his guile by producing a first-ball waist-high fulltoss which Cheslyn (21) helped along into short fine-leg’s hands, and from there it was all downhill.
Scooter finished up with brilliant figures of 4/16 in his seven overs and, when he eventually bowled Hanno for a very well played 51, Gardens were dismissed for 110 in 30 overs – a great fightback considering their predicament at 1/3.
So a seemingly simple task for the Rollers, but those associated with the team know there is no such thing as a simple run-chase – especially when it comes to low targets.
The opening partnership of Ryan and George Kamfer put on 18 for the first wicket before the latter was cleaned up with a beauty fro William that clipped the top of his off-stump.
To the crease strode Fergus Payne, making a welcome return to the side, having spent the last few years making kids. And, on reflection, it seems he spent at least some of that time in front of a bowling machine as well …
Admittedly, it seems the bowling machine was set only to leg-stump as Fergus made Greame Smith look like a cover-drive specialist, but it was a case of ‘job done’ as his 20 took the Rollers to 53 before a ‘coolly creeper’ (to quote Brian McMillan) saw him trapped stone-dead.
The brothers Cooper then took the score to 83/2 before the inevitable ‘roll’ took place.
Neville was bowled for 11, Dewald Human slog-swept his way to 1, Ryan hit a long-hop straight up for 52 and Andrew Young skied a full-toss for 1 as four wickets fell for 11 runs.
Debutant Towfique Sulimain was trapped LBW for 3, but Cornell (4*) and Francois Siebrits (8*) eventually took us across the line for the three-wicket win.
Thanks as always to the Gardens guys for the great snoek braai and festivities afterwards.
Next up for the Rollers, a tough match (on the field and in the bar) against Squirrels on February 15.
BATTING George Kamfer 0 Ryan Cooper 52 (8×4) Fergus Payne 20 (2×4) Neville Cooper 11 (2×4) Dewald Human 1 Andrew Young 1 Cornell Keulder 4* Towfique Sulimain 3 Francois Siebrits 8* (1×4)
Extras: 11 TOTAL: 111/7 (28 overs)
BOWLING Cornell Keulder 7-1-15-3 Ryan Cooper 3-0-15-1 Hannes Carlson 4-0-16-0 Francois Siebrits 4-1-15-0 Jacques Laubscher 7-2-16-4 Dewald Human 3-0-18-0 Towfique Sulimain 1.2-1-0-1 George Kamfer 1-0-6-0