The Rollers can be accused of a lot of things, but being boring most certainly is not one of them. Just ask Old Mutual, who thought they had Saturday’s game against us wrapped up, then not, then back in the bag, before eventually losing by three runs.
On a blistering hot day in Pinelands, the Rollers were offered the toss on a very good wicket and chose to bat. Ryan Cooper and Louis Pretorius took first strike and, against some good swing bowling, got off to a flying start, putting on 49 for the first wicket.
Ryan was first to go, skying one to square-leg off a leggie for 22, and was followed soon after by Louis, who departed for a quickfire 30. Cornell Keulder went soon after for 10, before Jacques Laubscher and Hannes Engelbrecht put on 26 for the fourth wicket.
Scooter was bowled for 13, before a rather subdued Wayne Moore joined Haas. Together they put on 33 before Haas was bowled around his legs for an excellent 35, which included a lovely lofted drive off the spinner.
Cue the Koeberg roll as the Rollers went from 128/4 to 144 all out, with Pete doing all the damage with 4/6 in three overs.
So 145 to win on a good wicket with a brilliant outfield, but we were confident, especially with the Tasmanian Devil, Cornell, in our bowling line-up.
And it all started fairly well, with Ryan and Charl Viljoen getting the openers with only 26 on the board. Cornell was brought on soon after and duly produced the magic straight away with a wicket in his first over.
However, we didn’t count on Old Mutual’s import, a former Zimbabwe Schools player by the name of Colin someone or other, who brought us crashing back to earth as he pulled Cornell in front of square for four.
‘Taz’ bounced back to dismiss the ‘gun-show’, their loudmouthed big-muscled keeper, for four, before the Rollers turned the game in our favour through the spin twins, Scooter and Slang.
Scooter got the big fish with a full toss for 42, before Slang ripped through the middle-order, picking up 3/26 in his seven overs.
Then the bowling change of all bowling changes. In a bid to wrap the game up, Ryan brought on Louis – with disastrous results. After a beautiful away swinger first up, he then proceeded to lose it all, bowling four wides and seven no-balls in a row – a new Rollers record, taking the title from Haas.
So suddenly the game was back on, but Cornell and Ryan came back to tighten things up, with Ryan taking a wicket with his final ball to bring in the number 11.
However, Old Mutual still only needed five runs from the remaining two overs, but Scooter returned for a second spell and got the final wicket, a bottom edge which crashed into the stumps.
So victory for the Rollers by four runs, having made it as interesting as possible without actually losing the game.
Man of the Match was Hannes Engelbrecht for his knock, notwithstanding the fact that he almost copped one in the face at long-on while taking a snooze on the boundary.
Special mention to Hannes Carlson, who did a brilliant job behind the stumps in Neville’s absence, including a few choice words in catching a few Cornell thunderbolts.