It’s been a shitty old season for the Rollers, but Sunday’s defeat at Claremont Gents arguably left us with more positives than negatives.
For one, we fought back from early carnage to mostly contain one of the FCA’s strongest batting line-ups on one of its flattest tracks and quickest outfields, and then fought all the way to the last two balls before falling short by six runs.
The day didn’t start particularly brightly though. On a blisteringly hot day, the Rollers lost the toss and were asked to bowl – and after just seven overs were bleeding at over eight to the over, thanks in particular to Bertie Erasmus’ onslaught.
However, the introduction of James Lamprecht changed the flow as the innings as he had Berti (45), Greig Hains (29) and Bruce Sharp (14) back in the hut in quick succession, thanks to some sharp work in the field.
Ryan Cooper (3/40) then bowled Henning Swanepoel (3) and Mark Ferrao (4) in consecutive overs, and when James (4/29) got Richard Gill for a second ball duck, Gents had gone from 62/0 to 97/6.
However, there was still some Sharp offspring to be reckoned with in the shape of 15-year-old Dylan (36), and along with the hard-hitting Rich Tasker (73) they put on 104 runs for the seventh wicket as the hosts reached 215/9 in the 35 overs.
The Rollers chase started well enough as Ryan and Jarryd van Wyk put on 53 for the first wicket. The former was bowled for 21, but James (18), Cornell Keulder (25) and Neville Cooper (27) kept Jarryd company as he reached a long overdue 50 in some style.
However, needing just under seven per over, the visitors experienced a middle-order slump of epic proportions, thanks in large to the mastery and guile of Rich Gill, who bamboozled with his left-arm spin to finish with the incredible figures of 6-32.
Game, set and match, though number 11 Michael van Dewenter had other ideas. With 40 needed he strode to the wicket and swept his way to an unbeaten 27, but ultimately ran out of balls in an epic finish.
A great game against a great bunch of guys (even Henning …) played in a great spirit. Thanks Rich, Gazza and the boys for doing your club and the FCA proud, and best of luck for the rest of the season.
Batting Jarryd van Wyk 52 (1×6, 7×4) Ryan Cooper 21 (3×4) James Lamprecht 18 (3×4) Cornell Keulder 25 (2×4) Neville Cooper 27 (3×4) Tom Stapylton-Smith 2 Johann Roux 1 Clint Kallis 1 Andrew Young 1 Michael van Dewenter 27* (2×4) Ruan de Jongh 5*
TOTAL: 209/9 (35 overs)
Bowling Cornell Keulder 7-0-53-0 Tom Stapylton-Smith 7-1-35-1 James Lamprecht 7-0-29-4 Ryan Cooper 6.1-0-40-3 Michael van Dewenter 5.5-0-26-1 Clint Kallis 2-0-24-0