After a season which yielded way more defeats than the Rollers have ever been used to (Koeberg days aside!), we at least finished on a high with a thumping 81-run defeat of MLC at Durbanville Cricket Club on Sunday.
MLC (Midlife Crisis) ran us quite close last year at Edgemead, but this time around it proved an entirely different kettle of fish as our youngsters – Louis Pretorius and Cornell Keulder – stole the show with bat and ball.
However, it hardly started off that well. After winning the toss and electing to bat, the Rollers were immediately on the backfoot as Ryan Cooper got cleaned up in the second over for a duck. He was still walking back when Ross Kennedy followed suit for a similar score, and Hannes Carlson’s wild slog meant it was 18/3 – and deep trouble.
Louis, new girlfriend and mother-in-law in tow, was looking solid (if not spectacular) at the other end, but that would soon change. Testing out Jacques Laubscher’s new Black Widow, he soon launched into two massive sixes, with Hannes Engelbrecht (7) and potential father-in-law Nico Rheeder (11) providing good support.
His retirement at 50, coupled with Wayne Moore’s dismissal for 10 and Neville Cooper running himself out without facing a ball, saw the Rollers in danger of once again not batting out their overs, but Cornell played a beaut of an innings to give us the advantage.
He hit one memorable straight six and, with Scooter (11) and Fergus Payne (7*) providing good support, helped the Rollers to a very challenging 155/8.
MLC’s batting reply was doomed from the word go. Neville, getting a rare chance open the bowling, responded in some style as his away swing yielded 3/13 in four overs.
A couple of overs later and the game was finished – Cornell bowling with some pace to pick up 3/4 in three overs, including the wicket of some arrogant young-done-nothing who had bounced him during our batting innings.
Fergus was brought on and, with a run-up almost slower than that of Slang, bowled a great line and length to bag 1/10 in four overs, while at the other end Haas made a welcome return to the bowling line-up, brushing off eight wides in an otherwise impressive spell of four overs. Ross burgled two wickets either side of a run out to see MLC dismissed for just 74 in 19 overs.
To their credit, they brushed off a below par display to put in a fine effort in the bar afterwards, and proved excellent hosts in putting out some salad and rolls to cap a fine afternoon.
After a game of touch rugby the drinking commenced, with some Rollers only getting to bed as most people were heading to work.
So that’s it for the regular season, but we still have one game to go – our tour at the end of the month. Tour dates have been agreed on as April 23-25 and the response has been good thusfar. So get some brownie points and ensure you don’t miss the sequel, Robertson – Revenge of the Rollers.