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Rollers return to winning ways

After two proper hidings, the West Coast Rollers returned to winning ways on Sunday with a 52-run victory against Black Batts.

Steve Palframan and Co have had our number in recent seasons, so confidence was not at its peak as we took first strike on a Gary Kirsten Oval wicket that had a bit of “Ranchi Day 5” vibes about it.

However, Bryan Bowler made light work of the conditions after the early loss of the FCA’s favourite cricketing prostitute, Nic Slabbert (9), putting on 30 with Ruan de Jongh (18) before once again cementing his reputation as the Rollers' Jacques Rudolph, the finest scorer of the most beautiful 20-odd.

Peter Muller (18), Michael van Dewenter (11) and Charl Bester (10) all got starts, but at 103/6 after 21 overs the visitors were staring down the barrel.

However, Tom Stapylton-Smith and Ryan Cooper managed to put on 33 for the seventh wicket, before the senior Cooper joined his brother for a 43-run eighth-wicket stand to post a slightly-below-par-but-somewhat-defendable 181 after 35 overs; Ryan finishing unbeaten on 63.

The Rollers needed a good start to defend the target on a small and very fast outfield, and they got just that thanks to the opening pair of Tom (5-0-26-2) and Mike (7-2-11-2); the latter almost unplayable bowling into the rough patch at the WPCC end.

Ryan (3.3-1-3-2) got the big wicket of Palfers, before Charl (5-0-23-3) ripped through the tail to set up a comfortable win with six overs to spare, despite five dropped catches.

As always, this game was played in the perfect FCA spirit, on and off the field, so a massive thanks to Palfers and his team for a very enjoyable day out.

Black Batts vs Rollers scorecard 2024
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