On a day when the West Indies defied the odds to win in Australia for the first time since 1997, so too did the West Coast Rollers’ very proud record against Western Province Cricket Club come to an end.
The Rollers had won the last nine fixtures against the Old Enemy, and at the halfway mark we felt pretty confident that we’d take the streak into a second decade.
Batting first on a slow and tricky wicket, Ryan Cooper and Jarryd van Wyk put on 36 cautious runs before the latter hit a fulltoss straight down long-on’s throat on 20.
Bryan Bowler came in at three and timed everything that came his way, including a leading edge which pinged back to the bowler with his score on 21, but not before adding 83 runs for the second wicket.
Neville Cooper (4) and Michael van Dewenter (0) came and went, but debutant Chris van der Merwe (11 off 12) and the returning Peter Muller (20 off 22) - along with Ryan’s unbeaten 109 and Izak de Beer’s brilliant single - helped the Rollers to what we assumed was a fairly decent 209/6 off 35 overs.
Tom Stapylton-Smith (5-1-24-0) bowled well up front, but it’s fair to say the rest of the bowlers didn’t have their best days out. Michael picked up his 100th wicket (thanks to an equally brilliant catch from Izak) for the Rollers but went at seven an over, while Izak 4-0-27-0), Chris (3-0-39-0) and Ruan de Jongh (2-0-29-0) also clocked up some frequent flyer miles.
Jarryd steadied the ship with a tight spell of ‘bowling’ before Neville’s 2/27 gave us a glimmer of hope, but ultimately the 145-run partnership between Saul Alperstein (92) and Junaid Allie (77*) proved decisive as WPCC cruised to a six-wicket win with 11 deliveries remaining.
Thanks again to Clyde, Curtis and Co for another great day out at the picturesque Wally Wilson Oval, and the festivities that followed next to the pool.