Not quite the start to the season we envisaged – though no-one would have guess that halfway through our game against Edgemead this past Sunday.
Coming off a pre-season tour defeat to Robertson and a rained out game at Bellville, the Rollers were desperate to chalk one up in the ‘win’ column when they faced the old enemy on a beautiful summer’s day.
After the first innings, that very much looked the case – having lost the toss and been asked to bowl, we produced one of our best efforts in the field in probably three years to restrict the hosts to just 100.
After Ryan Cooper and Louis Pretorius failed to break through, the slow bowling trio of Jakes Oberholzer and Hannes Carlson (seemingly) took the game away from Edgemead, bowling a perfect line and length and backed up by some sharp fielding.
Jakes ended with figures of 7-1-20-1, with Casper even better with an amazing return of 7-0-17-4.
If Edgemead were intent on seeing them out, more bad news followed in the form of the Rheeder father and son combination. Nicky (7-1-12-1) bowled an impeccable line and length, while his old man bamboozled the batsmen with figures of 7-1-19-1, taking the final wicket with the final ball of the innings.
So set a measly target of 100 to win, the Rollers started well enough, with Louis and debutant Neil Parish (who, incidentally, needed a runner for what he thought was a calf strain. Turned out it was a torn Achilles!) taking the score to 24 before the youngster skied one.
Now many people have asked why we call ourselves the ‘Rollers’. Well, the next few overs answered that – from 25/1, we ‘rolled’ to 33/6, a combination of some tight bowling and kak shots).
Jacques Laubscher and Jakes steadied the ship, but the latter’s run out for an effortless 12 proved a massive blow. Nico battled hard to top score with 14, but when Neville Cooper went charging down the wicket and got bowled for four, the writing was on the wall.
A rubbish innings ended in an equally rubbish way as the Rheeders, who had bowled so well together, got it wrong in the middle as Slang got run out.
So the Rollers lose by 24 runs – not quite the game-plan midway through the match. However, so we learn, and hopefully we can rectify it with a victory against Coastal Strikers at Brackenfell on Sunday.