When the fixture list for this season was first sent out around September, there was one fixture which everyone immediately looked for – Western Province Cricket Club.
For the last three or so years, Neil Watson and his troop of rich folks had had the better of the Rollers – be it Deon Kemp smashing an unbeaten 100 off next to nothing deliveries, some young League players tonking us to all parts, or us hitting the self-destruct button.
On Sunday, however, the Rollers produced the near perfect game of cricket and, in the process, taught the WPCC boys a lesson they won’t soon forget.
Put in to bat as per the rule at the club, the Rollers made a solid start as two Koeberg veterans, Mark da Silva and Jakes Oberholzer, put on 39 for the first wicket before ‘Coach’ was caught off the bowling of that pleasant chap Voldemort.
Not to worry, ‘Moggie’ then added another 37 for the third wicket with Neville before being stumped off Watson’s offspring, scoring 37 off 51 balls.
The two Coopers got together and added a brisk 23 before Ryan was well caught on the cow corner boundary for 13, bring to the crease Jacques Laubscher. ‘Scooter’ got off to an absolute flyer before settling down, watching from the other end as Neville was smashing the bowling to all parts.
‘Coop Deville Delux’ eventually perished for an excellent 51 off 62 balls, signalling a collapse which only the Rollers could manage.
‘Debutant’ Cornell Keulder, another Koeberg old boy, got seven before smashing one into Watson’s ribcage to be caught and bowled, Nicky Rheeder (0) was bowled second ball, Hannes Carlson (8) also fell to Watson and Nico Rheeder (2) stumped off the chairman’s son.
So 167 on a tough wicket – less than we wanted, but probably a score we would have settled for at the start of play.
WPCC’s response was solid as the openers put on 41 for the first wicket – this after being subjected to some of the quickest bowling they would have faced in the form of Cornell. His first ball also took Neville by surprise … the graying one almost being decapitated before getting gloves in front of his face.
So after Cornell (5-2-6-0) ruffled some feathers with his 175km/h deliveries, it was the turn of the bankers to get some sticks.
Mark bowled well to pick up 2/25 in seven, while Coach was almost unplayable in bowling his allotted overs for just 14 runs, picking up one wicket in the process.
However, the undoubted star of the show was Casper, who bowled an impeccable spell of 5-0-16-5, which included the wicket of a youngster playing first league cricket in Boland.
The game was wrapped up after Voldemort batted for his averages rather than his team, but there was still time for a few laughs – Hannes Engelbrecht having a catch dropped off his bowling before completely losing his rhythm, prompting a switch to left-arm floaters.
And then enter Slang for the final over. Watson, pissed off with his teammates for having to come out and bat, saw his blood pressure rise a bit more when Slang warned him for backing up too far.
So you can imagine his fury when Slang did it for a second time, including lifting the bails, prompting Watson to storm off the field and yell something about not being worthy to wear the Friendly Cricketer’s badge.
But after tempers calmed, drinks were enjoyed by all and some meat thrown on the fire. Cue the rest of the night the charming Voldemort calling us c*nts for dare bowling outside the off-stick to him, a good laugh was had by all.
Man of the Match unsurprisingly went to Casper for his five-for, with honourable mentions to Neville (51), Mark (37 & 2/25) and Jakes (17 & 1/14).