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Rollers make it two from two

The Rollers continued their fine start to the 2011/12 season with another comprehensive victory on Sunday – this time Groot Drak the unfortunate recipients of a beating.

After the nine-wicket thrashing of Fish Hoek a fortnight ago, we headed out to Franschhoek and recorded a 66-run victory; though, in fairness, it should have been a lot more damning than that but for some complacency in the field.

As per tradition, the Rollers took first strike on a wicket that bore absolutely no resemblance to the snakepit of last year; instead, we were greeted with a beautiful strip with true, if sometimes slow, bounce.

Nonetheless, there was still work to be done by our openers against the new ball, and Louis Pretorius and General Hannes Moore (sporting the Movember look of the day) did that perfectly, seeing off the first 15 overs – and at a rapid scoring rate as well.

Kepler was eventually bowled for 28 to end a 96-run partnership, while Jack White retired not out on a brilliant 50, which included an exquisite straight six. Not bad for a guy who didn’t attend a single net session.

Ryan Cooper and Hannes Carlson took up the baton and continued the brisk pace, putting on 44 in seven overs before Casper succumbed to a sharpish catch at extra cover. Neville Cooper was bowled for 13 before his brother retired on 50 as well – his faith in his new bat restored once more.

Nico Rheeder notched up a quick-fire 18 before Cornell Keulder all but put the game beyond the hosts, smashing the ball to all parts ala MS Dhoni style. His unbeaten 39 came off no more than 30 balls and included two towering sixes.

So 247/5 on a good, but by no means a flat track, Groot Drak were always going to be behind the 8-ball, especially against our bowling line-up.

Kepler and Andrew Young took the new ball and were just about unplayable but, barring Kepler cleaning up the one opener with a peach of a delivery, there was precious little to show for their efforts. (Though Grumpy Smurf will point out that the one opener knicked the ball and was given not out when he clearly did touch it)

But if they thought things were going to get easier after seeing off the opening pair they were gravely mistaken – Cornell came on as first change and tenderized Neville’s hands nicely bowling at 4000kh/h, but again without any reward.

At drinks the hosts were actually fairly well placed at 78/1 after 16 overs, but Casper’s strike straight after the break proved the catalyst for a roll of Rollers proportions – with Slang the destroyer in chief.

After a very vocal campaign to get the old man on, captain Haas eventually relented and was rewarded with 4/28 in five overs. Jacques Laubscher also chipped in with a wicket as the game meandered to its inevitable conclusion – but not before some horror fielding that hopefully was a one-off this season.

So next up a game against Squirrels at the Alma Marist fields in Rondebosch – they beat us in the final over last year, so let’s make amends.

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