After last week’s disappointment in Franschhoek, the Rollers bounced back in some style on Sunday with a thumping seven-wicket win against the rich folks of Kelvin Grove.
And it wasn’t just the seven-wicket margin that was comprehensive – we chased down the target of 169 in less than 26 overs! And this despite Scooter refusing to run a two for the better part of 20 overs.
The Kelvin team has changed markedly over the last few years. Gone are the days of middle-aged men driving fancy German cars being donnered all over the field by the Rollers. These days, the middle-aged men with their fancy German cars drop their Bishops-schooled kids off to be donnered by the Rollers.
Unfortunately, the home team won the toss and opted to bat first, thereby depriving the Rollers middle-order of a chance to pad up.
That said, after the first six overs we thought the target could be 250-plus the way the young Bishops boys climbed into our new new-ball pairing of Koeberg old boys Claude Louw and Louis Pretorius. A rapid 50-run partnership in seven over called for a change of strategy in the form of Casper Carlson.
Straight away he made the captain look like an idiot as he was launched onto the Newlands Stadium roof, thereby costing us a brand new ball. But the reigning Player of the Year soon redeemed himself as he picked up one of the openers, before picking up two more in quick succession to finish with figures of 3/31 in his seven.
With the other opener having retired at 50, Ryan Cooper came on at the other end and bowled seven steady overs at half pace for 12 runs.
Then a master-stroke of captaincy …
On came Ryan Goslett against the wind, picked up a wicket with his first ball, then another with his fifth ball, and then three more to finish with incredible figures of 5/29 off five overs. Gozzy was helped in the field by some solid catching, most notably from 12-year-old Deon, one of Slang’s students who tagged along and eventually spent almost the whole game on the field as the two Rheeders took time in taking in the scenery/drinking/getting down and dirty.
Haas came on to get his first wicket of the season, before Louis returned to pick up the returning opening batsman for an excellent 57. An excellent fightback after the hosts’ flying start, backed up by some brilliant ground fielding and catching.
So 169 the target … it was never going to be enough.
Scooter and Claude drew the good numbers and set about their task in some style. Scooter raced to 13 off his first seven balls – realizing after the third ball that he had forgotten his box – before pulling an Arjuna Ranatunga and refusing to run. Fortunately Claude was also finding the middle of the bat at the other end, launching two sixes and three fours before being gunned LBW by Gozzy for 31 – despite the ball hitting his thigh pad.
Scooter was on 30 at the time, and by the time the number three batsman, Louis Pretorius, retired for his 50, the Red Heart Rum connoisseur had progressed to 42.
Not that Scooter was struggling – it was more a case of Louis playing one of the best innings in recent memory, blazing shots all over the ground that at one stage had the short cover jumping for cover. Some memorable shots included a six over backward point and a classy lofted straight drive.
When the carnage was over there was hardly any runs left, though Neville did still find time to get Scooter run out for 49. Slang was in at five and scored just that before being bowled, before Neville put an end to Kelvin’s misery by hitting 16 off three balls to get us over the finish line.
That made for some good celebrations afterwards as Louis fumbled his way about the place while doing stumps, while Gozzy walked away with our first Player of the Match award – a trophy he had left in the car he was so certain it was his.
Thanks to everyone for a fun day, and thanks to Claude for the pizzas afterwards.
Next game is against Bellville on November 8.