The West Coast Rollers’ impressive start to the season came to a screeching halt on Saturday as Scorpions inflicted a six-wicket defeat at Distell.
The build-up to the game was hardly ideal given the unavailability of many regulars, but still the performance should have been better on a belter of a track and a quick outfield.
And it all started well enough, with Hannes Moore and Ryan Cooper seeing off some impressive swing and seam bowling from Riaan van der Rheede (5-0-28-0) and Nico Ras (5-0-12-0) to take the score to 42 after 10 overs.
But the introduction of Tiaan van der Merwe and his gentle left-arm … spin (?) turned the tide, with Ryan trapped stone-dead for 25, before Nicky Rheeder was caught at mid-on without scoring.
Hannes Carlson scored a quickfire 10 before Hannes was caught at slip for a hard-fought 23, Nico Rheeder skyed one for 2, and Tom Stapylton-Smith ran himself out first ball.
But Neville Cooper stood firm, biding his time with solid defence before rolling back the years with some trademark drives and pulls, and along with debutants Nic Slabbert (10), Jordan Corfe (9) and Francois Lotter (5) took the score to 150 before he was last man out for 46.
It felt at least 50 short, and that proved the case despite some tight opening bowling from Tom (5-0-24-1) and Herr Michael van Dewenter (4-1-21-0). However, the stylish Zeeko Alexander (42) and way-less-stylish-but-equally-as-effective Gavin Stander (36) all but secured the game with a 60-run second-wicket partnership, despite another great spell of bowling from Nicky (7-1-21-2).
Scorpions reached the target of 151 with six wickets down and seven overs to spare, but a loss has never dampened the Rollers’ spirits too much, with the visitors closing the pub after a sensational stumps for the debutants.
Thanks to Riaan, Coach, Hayden and the team for yet another fantastic day spent at the picturesque Distell ground.