The West Coast Rollers returned to winning ways with a (in the end) comfortable win against Western Province Cricket Club at the Vineyard Oval.
For all our inconsistencies in recent seasons, our record against WPCC is a good one, having won the previous eight matches against them. That became nine on Sunday, although the result could have gone either way until the last 25 minutes.
Batting first on a good strip and quick outfield, the Rollers got off to a great start as Neville Cooper and Jordan Corfe overcame a cautious start to put on a 85-run partnership for the first wicket, before the senior statesman ran himself out for a run-a-ball 43 (cue accompanying hissy-fit).
Jordan was joined by Ruan de Jongh (24 off 48), enjoying a rare go high up the order, and they added 45 before Jordan holed out at long-off for a classy 62 from 72 balls.
Tom Stapylton-Smith (14), Handre Scheepers (0) and Jarryd van Wyk (18) came and went before Charl Bester provided some much-needed impetus into the innings, smashing two massive 6s in a brisk 30 off 23 balls to see the Rollers to 213/7 off 35 overs.
The general feeling was that we finished around 20 short of a good total, and that feeling was only enhanced as Peter Muller bowled his first four deliveries wide, but Kempton Park is made of sterner stuff and bounced back brilliantly to pick up 2/14 in his four overs, while Tom (1/32) was unlucky to only get one at the other end.
The Rollers were in control at 32/3 but we knew there were some big players to come, and so it proved as Curtus Fourie (57) and Saul Alperstein (32) combined for an 87-run fourth wicket partnership which looked to have put the hosts firmly in control.
They were helped in their endeavours by Hannes Moore, who picked up a serious case of the yips in his second over as he sent down seven wides and two no-balls (one for knocking off the balls in his delivery action!), setting a new team record for longest over - 15 balls.
But although wickets were hard to come by, captain Michael van Dewenter (7-1-20-0), Ryan Cooper (7-1-22-1) and Jarryd van Wyk (5-1-29-1) managed to put the brakes on and push the required run-rate beyond 12, meaning even Louis Koen’s brisk 22 off 13 balls was ultimately in vain as WPCC fell 32 runs short.
As always, the game was played in a fantastic spirit and the short fines session afterwards produced plenty of laughs. Thanks again to Curtis and team for a great day out!