The West Coast Rollers overcame five ducks to beat Kelvin Grove by 31 runs in a low-scoring game on Sunday.
Batting first on a very grassy pitch, and against the warnings of our most elderly Roller, the visitors were up against it from the get-go, with Kempton Park’s finest export and most vociferous appealer, Peter Muller, making the most of the conditions.
He had James Lamprecht and Nicky Rheeder caught behind without scoring off consecutive deliveries, before bowling Hannes Carlson (6) and Ryan Cooper (28) to finish with impressive figures of 7-1-11-4.
And with Neville Cooper (4) caught and bowled by Nish Khan at the other end, the Rollers were in deep shit at 47/5 at a venue where we’ve never scored below 200.
But, as was the case two weeks ago against Cape Town Cricket Club, Jarryd van Wyk came to the party with another quickfire 57 off just 30 deliveries. And he found some dogged support in the shape of Ruan de Jongh, who blocked the bowlers into submission before smashing a few lusty blows to end on 23 off 53 balls.
However, with Mark Haselau, Nico Rheeder and Leon Theron joining the duck farm, it meant the Rollers were dismissed for a paltry 139 inside 29 overs.
We needed a great start to have any chance of pulling the game out the fire, and we got just that thanks to James (5-0-15-2) and Michael van Dewenter (5-1-27-2), who dismissed the top four batsmen with just 41 on the board.
Just as he had done with the ball, Peter Muller threatened to take the game away from us with the bat, but Der Feuhrer Michael had yet to play his trump card. Nicky Rheeder came on and bowled as slow as is humanly possible, picking up 4/41 in the process and swinging the momentum back in the Rollers’ favour.
Ryan (6-2-4-1) and Casper (3-0-9-1) mopped up at the end to ensure a memorable - and highly unlikely - victory, and make it two from two for the new skipper.
A brilliant time was had afterwards, and a massive thanks goes out to Tal Nieburg and his team, who played the game in a fantastic spirit true to the FCA ethos.
A special mention also goes out to Leon Theron, whose faceplant at full speed resulted in uncontrollable laughter from his teammates, and is sure to be brought up by the Rollers for many years to come!