The Rollers kicked off their 2015/16 season on a losing note at Scorpions on Saturday – but not without giving it a proper fight.
Against our better judgement, we have had quite a few net sessions in the lead-up to the season, but no-one would have guessed it in the early overs at Distell.
The fielding was sloppy, the keeper’s hands were not working, and the bowling was a bit all over the place as Scorpions got off to a solid start, reaching 39 before Cornell Keulder got the first wicket.
Enter former Netherlands batsman Davy Bakker who, after a couple off early plays and misses, took a particular liking to the bowling, including hitting 26 off Hannes Carlson in the first over after drinks.
It looked like a score in excess of 250 was on the cards, but the Rollers showed some grit and fought back well, picking up the last six wickets for just 26 runs to limit the hosts to 213, with Jakes Oberholzer the chief destroyer with 4/26, including a hat-trick – the third ever in the club’s 20-year history.
Reigning Player of the Year Cornell finished with 3/36, while Andrew Young (6-0-23-1) got the crucial wicket of Bakker for 93 (‘Not my first international wicket’, we were let know afterwards).
So a tough target of almost six per over on a track that started to stay low, and it showed early on as Casper (2) and George Kamfer (4) were bowled by deliveries that did not come up too much.
Ryan Cooper (49) and Claude Louw (17) then set about the target, putting on 57 before two LBWs (to go with four in Scorpions’ innings) in two overs changed the complexion of the run chase.
Neville Cooper (2), Michael van Dewenter (8) and Jakes Oberholzer (5) didn’t hang around too long, but Cornell was not giving up the fight and set about the bowling with some vigour.
He smashed an unbeaten 63 off not too many, including one massive six over the square leg fence, but in the end there were just too many runs on the board and the Rollers fell 40 runs short.
Still, it was an enjoyable outing and good to get the whites on again.
Thanks to Riaan Gerber and his team for their hospitality – next up is Edgemead this coming Sunday.