Like the Springboks, the West Coast Rollers were undone by the English this past weekend. Well, not so much the English as an Englishman. Well, not so much an Englishman either … more of an English youngster.
Travelling to the Boon Wallace Oval for our annual clash against Cape Town Cricket Club on Sunday, the Rollers were in fine spirits given a winning run that had stretched almost a year. We’ve also gotten the better of CTCC in recent times, including a last-over thriller a season ago, so confidence was high.
But from the get-go it looked a bit shady. The ageing knees of Roger Moult were negated by three strapping young lads, none of which would have ever watched something on a box television. Or watched music on MTV. Hell, Gavin Olhsson even cut his hair for the occasion.
Our worst fears were soon realised as Dylan van der Westhuizen and Francois Vermaak put on 56 for the first wicket. The latter was run out for 18, but Francois (47 off 60) played some incredible shots before skying one of Michael van Dewenter’s floaters to mid-on.
With Ken Lamb (2) departing early, we felt we were right back in it with the hosts on 86/3 after 19 overs. Enter Billy Mead, the young CTCC first teamer from England who has seemingly watched a lot of T20 cricket in his life. After a slow start, he unleashed his full array of shots, from reverse sweeps to Dil-scoops, to lofted cover drives. When he reverse swept our reasonably fast opening bowler for four, we knew he was taking the piss. And from my vantage point at Cow Corner, I saw a gleeful smile upon Roger’s face.
Not to be outdone, the always brilliant Shane Martin (55 off 43) also got in on the act, punishing the demoralised Rollers bowlers with a brutal display of power-hitting. The two put on 128 in less than 15 overs when James Lamptecht (5-1-20-1) had Billy trapped in front for 79 off 55, before Mike showed the Proteas how to do death bowling with two late wickets to finish with excellent figures of 4/24 off 6.
So a mammoth target of 218 on a wicket taking a lot of turn, and against a side featuring both the Holman brothers.
A good start was needed, but not provided as the woefully out-of-form Ryan Cooper (1) hit a half-tracker down midwicket’s throat, before Charl Bester (9) was caught behind.
Neville Cooper (29 off 34) and Jarryd van Wyk (35 off 34) provided some hope with a 66-run third-wicket stand, but again Shane proved the difference, removing the pair in successive overs to end with figures of 2/29.
With both feet firmly on our throats, Roger bought on the two Holman brothers, and between the them they picked up the remaining six wickets for just 43 runs, with only Tom Stapylton-Smith (19 off 24) and Aaron van der Merwe (12 off 12) providing any sort of resistance.
The Rollers were all out for just 131 as CTCC won by a massive 86 runs. Clearly feeling a bit guilty over his team selection, Roger bought drinks for most of the post-match fines as the visitors looked to down their sorrows.
Not really. But he bloody well should have.