The months of inactivity showed, but the Rollers were able to sufficiently dust off the cobwebs to start the 2012/13 season with a comfortable – if a bit closer than it should have been – victory.
With the pre-season game against Hopefield having rained out, we arrived at Edgemead on Sunday, having not played any cricket for seven months.
Not that anyone told Andrew Young that. Despite broken knees, tennis elbows, stupid crazy ears and no hair, he steamed in with the wind at his back to bowl an impeccable spell of seven overs on the trot that put the hosts on the backfoot from the get-go.
‘Bruce Banner’ eventually finished with figures of 7-3-8-2 and, with Ryan Cooper and Hannes Carlson equally miserly at the other end, it meant Edges went into the drinks break with only 34 from 17 overs.
Captain Hannes Engelbrecht also made an inspired bowling change in bringing Nico Rheeder into the attack early on and, in his first game of his 50th consecutive year on the cricket field, Slang responded in fine fashion with 7-2-31-2 (of which the last over went for 14).
Casper was also rediscovering some form and looked near unplayable at one point, finishing his seven overs with 2-18.
Cornell Keulder (1-28 in six) and Ryan came in for some stick towards the end as the two Lucas’, Gavin (43) and Mark (24) got going, before another inspired bowling change saw Jacques Laubscher claim 2-7 in two overs, picking up his second wicket with the last ball of the match as Edgemead were dismissed for 123.
The Rollers’ lotto system produced quite a strong top order, but it didn’t make the going any easier as Edgemead bowled extremely well up-front, coupled with some excellent fielding – most notably a catch at backward point to dismiss Cornell for 5. AB de Villiers would have struggled to get to the ball …
Ryan was joined at the crease by Neville Cooper, who last season endured a campaign to forget. But a new year brings new fortunes, and that certainly proved the case as the two brothers set about rebuilding the innings.
A 39-run partnership was broken when Ryan (26) chopped one onto his stumps, but Coop D’Ville continued on his merry way, looking more and more like the batsman who scored nearly 500 runs a few seasons ago.
However, his innings was a lone battle as wickets continued to tumble at the other end. Casper (7), Jacques Laubscher (8), Ross Kennedy (0), George Kampher (4) and Andrew (0) were all victims of ‘Ace’ Smith, who lived up to his nickname with figures of 5-14 in seven overs.
And with Neville having retired at 50, it was left to Slang and the returning Mark Haselau to steer us home – the latter calmly slotting two boundaries in his first innings in three years to see the Rollers home with two wickets (and nine balls) to spare.
So a good start to the season for the Rollers, and some great banter to be had afterwards. Also, a big thanks to Dave Hillman for spending the whole day with us, and an even bigger thank you to him for not gunning anyone during his umpiring stint.
Next game is in two weeks against Hermanus (November 11). Logistics to follow in the next few days.
Cornell Keulder 5 – Ryan Cooper 26 2×4 Neville Cooper 51* 7×4 Hannes Carlson 7 – Jacques Laubscher 8 1×4 Ross Kennedy 0 – Hannes Engelbrecht 8 2×4 George Kampher 4 – Andrew Young 0 – Nico Rheeder 2* – Mark Haselau 9* 2×4
Extras 6 TOTAL 126/9 (33.3 overs)
BOWLING CARD Overs Maidens Runs Wickets RPO
Andrew Young 7 4 8 2 1.1 Ryan Cooper 6 1 23 0 3.8 Hannes Carlson 7 2 18 2 2.6 Nico Rheeder 7 2 31 2 4.4 Cornell Keulder 6 0 28 1 4.7 Jacques Laubscher 2 0 7 2 3.5