The Rollers finished a very successful first half of the 2017/18 season with another victory, this time against the Bellville Pumas at Rondebosch CC.
We had played at the venue a month earlier, and perhaps that experience gave us the edge on another unpredictable track and slow outfield, though at one stage Pumas must have really fancied their chances.
Batting first, the Rollers lost James Lamprecht (1) in the second over, but Hannes Moore (11) and Jarryd van Wyk (13) guided us to 33 before both fell to low skidders.
Cornell Keulder (9) smashed a monster six over backward point before being caught, and when Andrew Young (1) and Neville Cooper (0) fell in successive deliveries, the Rollers were in a heap of trouble at 59/6.
But knowing that any three-figure target would be competitive given the conditions, Ryan Cooper and Michael van Dewenter played some proper Test Match cricket, taking the score to 100 before the former was run out for 35.
Ruan de Jongh (2), Mark Haselau (0) and Jacques Laubscher (4*) supported Mike, who finished unbeaten on 15 off something like 400 balls as the Rollers posted 114/9 off 35 overs.
The Pumas were always going to struggle on that wicket, and they weren’t helped by the fact that Cornell had a bee up his bonnet. He bowled with a fair amount of pace (!), taking 4-12 off his seven overs, and was ably supported by Andrew (1/20), Scooter (1/11) and Mike (1/9) – the latter getting his wicket as Scooter rolled back the years to take a great catch at gully.
The Rollers were buzzing in the field, and James duly wrapped up the tail with a fine display of line and length bowling, taking 3/4 off four overs as the Pumas crumbled to 63 all out.
Still, some ice cold beers (and brandies) were enjoyed after the game and great stories shared.
Special thanks to Simon Foxcroft and the guys at Rondebosch CC for helping out with a venue at such short notice, and for the ridiculously cheap booze prices!