Tom Stapylton-Smith and Michael van Dewenter were the stars of the show as the West Coast Rollers maintained their fine record against the Pumas this past weekend.
The two sides first locked horns in 2016 at the PPC Smit fields in Bellville. That turned out to be a close-ish affair, but on Sunday at the Rondebosch Sports Club it proved a lot more straightforward, thanks in large to a fantastic spell of bowling from our Michaelhouse graduate.
But it was with the bat that we had to perform first, and that didn’t start all that well as we found ourselves four wickets down inside 10 overs with just 56 on the board with Jarryd van Wyk (5), Ryan Cooper (12), Neville Cooper (1) and Peter Muller (9) back in the clubhouse.
Captain Mike - hanging hard from a brandy & Oros special at a bachelors the night before (“Vyf vir net R100!!”) - and the FCA’s favourite and nicest prostitute, Nic Slabbert, set about restoring parity before a rain break forced us indoors for an hour or so.
It proved just the tonic - thanks to the lovely beers on tap, no doubt - as the two set about the bowling upon the resumption of play, eventually putting on 117 for the fifth wicket before Nic skied one on 53 to become Siya’s fourth scalp of the day.
Big Mike wasn’t done though, smashing the bowling to all parts en route to a career high score of 70 (off 69 deliveries), ably supported by Tom’s first non-private school recruit in Alan Goldacre, who hit an unbeaten 18 off 12 on debut.
A more than decent total of 225/6 posted, but on a small field and flat wicket we knew we needed to be at our best, especially given some of the big hitters in the Pumas line-up.
Charl ‘Chalal’ Bester, opening with a bit of off-spin thanks to a drunken bet lost by skipper Mike, picked up the wicket of Grant in his second over before the ‘Pinky Prawn’ (childhood nickname, his sister once delightfully shared with us) show kicked off. Tom ripped through the top order, sending Calla, Grant and Shaun back to the clubhouse inside just four balls. Two slower balls claimed two more wickets as he finished with a career best 7-1-22-5.
With the heart ripped out of the batting line-up it was just a matter of time. Ruan de Jongh had three catches dropped off his bowling to go with four Chinese cuts but another debutant, JP de Bruin, made sure we had more than enough time to watch the Proteas beat India. In just 14 deliveries he picked up 4/6, with three of them bowled.
So a comfortable 121-run victory but, as always, the Pumas matched us step for step at the post-match fines. Thanks again to Garth and his team for a lovely day out, fantastic hospitality and a game played in great spirit.