It may have been a sweltering hot day in Cape Town on Sunday, but the Rollers were coolness personified as they ruthlessly disposed of Kelvin Grove to maintain their unbeaten run this season.
After numerous upsets last season, the Rollers have raced out of the blocks in 2011/12, and the new year saw nothing change as we cruised to an eight-wicket victory with almost 17 overs to spare.
With the game moved to the Gary Kirsten Oval at Western Province Cricket Club, it was never going to be the high-scoring affair this fixture usually produces, though Kelvin sure made an early case for it as they got off to a flyer, putting on 30 for the first wicket in just five overs.
Andrew Young put the skids on to some extent when he trapped the dangerous Pierre in front, but still, at 50/1 after 11 overs, the hosts were sitting pretty.
What followed was a collapse of Rollers-like proportions. The next five wickets fell for just 28 runs, with Ryan Cooper picking up three sticks, Louis Pretorius completing a spectacular run out from backward point, and Hannes Carlson getting the big-hitting Daniel – in the process breaking his brand new R4000 bat.
Drinks brought little relief as Nico Rheeder came on with the wind and immediately picked up two wickets in his first over. Cornell Keulder, eager to impress his watching lady friend, finally picked up a stick with a massive inducker, before Casper fashioned another run out to leave Kelvin back in the pavilion for a paltry 128.
After a lean and moany season, Lady Lotto finally smiled on Neville Cooper as he drew the opening slot alongside his Red Heart Rum partner-in-crime Jacques Laubscher. And the duo looked in ominous form as Scooter cut three fours in the first five balls he faced, while Neville was lofting drives over extra cover.
But Coop DeVille’s luck soon ran out as ‘Slow Death’ Wayne Moore, playing his first game in many, many months, raised the finger for an LBW. Neville responded with some finger raising of his own, but it was never going to change the decision …
Scooter continued on his merry way though, eventually running four twos (true story) on his way to a brisk 34; a knock which was only ended thanks to a spectacular one-handed catch in the gully.
However, Cornell continued the onslaught with some powerful hitting, including a straight six for the winning runs to finish on 43 not out. Just before that, Nicky Rheeder played a wonderful knock for an unbeaten 18, including a memorable straight drive on the up.
So a comfortable win for the Rollers, celebrated in fine style with some beverages at the Kelvin Grove club, where the southern suburb snobs quickly dispersed when they saw the common folk from the northern suburbs and Melkbos walk in. Still, at least we made the barman earn his pay-cheque …
Next up is the double header in two weeks’ time – the Wellington Sixes title defence on the Saturday, followed by a game against Scorpions at Distell Fields in Stellenbosch.