If ever there was further proof that the old adage of ‘catches win matches’ rings true, one only had to cast an eye towards Claremont Cricket Club where the Gents hosted the Rollers on Sunday afternoon.
Always one of the highlights of the season, we’ve had some amazing ups and downs there down the years – and yesterday will go down as another ‘if only’.
Bowling first on a lovely track, the Rollers got off to a brilliant start – even though the theme of the day was set by the third ball when Ryan Cooper dropped Marc Grey at slip.
However, Cornell Keulder got his man three balls later, before Andrew Young trapped Stan leg before for a duck to leave Gents reeling at 2/2.
That was as good as it got for a long while though as two of our regular tormentors, Bruce Sharp and Henning, got stuck into the bowling.
Bruce raced to his 50 in the 10th over by smashing Andrew for four successive boundaries, having been dropped before he had double figures – Cornell again the unlucky bowler.
Bruce smashed a long-hop from Ryan into the M3 before he was out for 65 in the same over, while at the other end Henning survived two sitters to reach his 50.
However, the Rollers fought back strongly and from 125/3 manage to restrict the hosts to 208 all out – Hannes Carlson (3/21), Fabio de Dominicis (2/24) and Jacques Laubscher (7-0-17-0) the chief destroyers.
So, eight catches dropped in the field, but 209 still a very gettable target give the quality of the pitch and outfield.
And the Rollers were off to a flier courtesy of Neville Cooper and Cornell, putting on 48 in six overs before Neville (20) edged a short one to the keeper.
Disaster followed the following over when Cornell (31) was run out after some confusion, having hit ‘the other Sharpie’ for 18 the over before.
Debutant Hennie de Villiers was caught for 11 before Ryan and Andrew set out trying to repeat their heroics from last week against Somerset West.
They put on 40 before Ryan (38) edged Paul Smith behind, starting a spectacular roll which yielded three successive ducks for Casper, debutant Rudi Ackerman and George Kamfer.
Michael van Dewenter (17) offered some resistance before he became the third of Cookie’s victims, leaving Andrew with no option but to swing for the fences.
He was eventually caught for 30 off the vastly-experienced Gary, leaving the Rollers 157 all out and 51 runs short of the target.
Still, a massively enjoyable game of cricket, and thanks again to Richard, Gary, Bruce and the rest of the Gents for your incredible hospitality.
Batting Neville Cooper 20 (2×4) Cornell Keulder 31 (5×4) Hennie de Villiers 11 (2×4) Ryan Cooper 38 (4×4) Andrew Young 30 (1×6) Hannes Carlson 0 Rudi Ackerman 0 George Kamfer 0 Michael van Dewenter 17 (2×4) Jacques Laubscher 2 Fabio de Dominicis 0*
Extras: 8 TOTAL: 157 all out (31 overs)
Bowling Cornell Keulder 5-0-25-1 Andrew Young 5-0-42-1 Ryan Cooper 7-0-47-1 Michael van Dewenter 4-0-28-0 Fabio de Dominicis 3-0-24-2 Jacques Laubscher 7-1-17-0 Hannes Carlson 5-0-21-3