It’s been a good while since we’ve seen a proper Rollers ‘roll’, but it returned in all its glory on Saturday afternoon as Wellington inflicted a first defeat of the season.
The 2017/18 campaign has been a good one so far, with our notoriously fragile batting showing a strong underbelly in the preceding five matches. But at Schalk Burger’s farm on a two-paced pitch, it all went tits up again.
It all started well enough with the ball, with Andrew Young rolling back the years with a brilliant opening seven over that yielded 3/19.
But minus speed merchant Cornell Keulder, the Rollers struggled to keep the scoring rate down. A number of dropped catches didn’t help, especially when the recipient is the dangerous Piet Koen, who helped himself to a brisk 44 before running past a straight one.
James Lamprecht took a fine 3/32 in his second spell in 10 years, but any hopes of keeping Wellington down to below 170 were further dashed by Piet’s spawn, with young Louis smashing his way to a second consecutive 50 against the Rollers as the home set a target of 195.
The run chase got off to a spectacular start though, with the Cooper brothers – with just three working hamstrings between them – batting way above the rate, albeit helped by some generous contributions to the extras column (40 in the end!).
They had taken the score to 81 by the 16th over before Ryan (37) skied one to Piet Koen at long off, with ‘Oupa’ so confident that he shouted ‘huistoe’ before even taking the catch.
Jarryd van Wyk came in looked in imperious form, clipping his first ball for six over square leg, before playing an exquisite cover drive for four two balls later.
Cruising at 107/1 after 20 overs with a lot of batting to come, the game looked in the bag – but then the collapse. Neville (24) and Jarryd (20) went in quick succession, with the rest of the line-up looking like a phone number: 2-4-1-0-7-1-7-1.
Nine wickets lost for 35 runs saw Wellington cruise to a 52-run win, but the Rollers reclaimed some lost pride in the post-match drinks, helped by some excellent hospitality from Nic and the locals, before Oom Schalk entertained with some great stories over a few more beers.
BATTING Neville Cooper 24 (2×4) Ryan Cooper 37 (5×4) Jarryd van Wyk 20 (1×6, 3×4) Izak de Beer 2 Nico Rheeder 4 James Lamprecht 1 Michael van Dewenter 0 Hennie de Villiers 7 Andrew Young 1 Hannes Moore 7 (1×4) Cameron Young 1*
Extras: 40 TOTAL: 142/10
BOWLING Andrew Young 7-1-19-3 Michael van Dewenter 5-1-28-0 Cameron Young 5-0-25-0 Ryan Cooper 5-0-35-1 James Lamprecht 6-0-32-3 Hannes Moore 5-0-36-1 Izak de Beer 2-0-19-1