It wasn’t the result we were looking for – but the result really was the least of the issues on a day when the Rollers made an emotional return to the Koeberg Cricket Club in Melkbos.
The club, left in ruin for almost 15 years, has recently undergone a facelift thanks to some local benefactors. And the Rollers were happy to accept an invitation to test the ground’s readiness when we took on a Melkbos Select XI on Sunday.
The Melkbos team consisted of a few Rollers in the form of Nico and Nicky Rheeder, Louis Pretorius and Jacques Wahl, some Koeberg old boys like Marius Apollis, and Cape Cobras star batsman Stiaan van Zyl.
An amazing turnout of over 100 people saw Melkbos opt to bat first and post 128 in their 20 overs. Ian Combrink, whose dad has ploughed most of the money into the venue’s revamp, top-scored with 55, with Apollis also crafting a classy 30-odd.
For the Rollers, Michael van Deventer was the star performer with three wickets, while Hannes Carlson and Francois Siebrits picked up two apiece. Ryan Cooper got one wicket for plenty – Van Zyl for a second ball duck.
On a pitch with tennis ball bounce and not the quickest outfield, the target was always going to prove a challenge, and more so against the spin of Apollis and Wahl which was going sideways.
Ryan got 20 up-front, before Neville Cooper and Hannes Engelbrect combined to take it really close with 30-odd apiece – Neville hitting TFC (thanks for coming) Van Zyl for a massive six over extra-cover.
But even with the two Rheeders bowling, the target was just too much as the Rollers fell 17 runs short.
Still, it was a good gauge of where we are in the season but, most importantly, it proved that the Koeberg Cricket Club was ready to hosts matches again – with incredibly cheap bar prices still the order of the day!