Chasing hasn’t always been the West Coast Rollers’ forte, but on Sunday we showed just what could be done with a bit of application and a bucketload of talent.
Somerset-West two years ago [and the victorious Wellington Sixes] notwithstanding, we played Squirrels at the Alma Marist club on arguably the hottest day ever spent on a cricket field.
So imagine our surprise when captain Neville ‘Graeme Smith’ Cooper won the toss – and decided to field! Hardly the treatment some hungover teammates were expecting…
However, it proved the correct when Ryan Cooper (3/19) knocked over Figjam and The Neb to leave Squirrels at 27/2 after 12 overs.
It got even better with the introduction of Michael van Dewenter and Hannes Carlson, with Big Mike picking up the huge wicket of Sir Hip Hop (I’m not making these names up) thanks to a smart catch by Francois Siebrits at backward-point, while Casper bagged Sweetcorn with his first ball en route to figures of 3/26.
It looked like an early escape from the sun at 89/7, but some clever batting from Stompie (63*), coupled with some poor bowling and fielding in the latter stages, gave the home side about 30 runs too many, eventually finishing on 166/8 from their 35 overs.
And on a wicket providing some assistance and against a very good bowling side, it seemed like we might have left ourselves too much to do. The early losses of Tim Sant and Hannes Engelbrecht did nothing to dispel those thoughts, but then we hadn’t counted on the brilliance of Neville and Francois Geldenhuys.
Coming together at a precarious 30/2, the pair put on an unbeaten 105 runs for the third wicket as Francois produced some majestic drives, while Neville mercilessly pounced on anything short.
Francois eventually retired on 57 while Neville walked off unbeaten on 63, leaving the rest of the simple task of taking the team home. Ryan perished for 11 but Siebrits, seemingly tired of all the pussyfooting around, finished the game in two shots – a once-bounce four and a six which sailed over the wall.
That left the scores tied, but Siebrits had hit the ball so far that the opposition couldn’t find it, and in the end they awarded him a ‘7’ for the shot, ensuring the Rollers won by seven wickets with three-and-a-half overs to spare.
That puts our 2013/14 record at five wins and two defeats – with a good few more games to come before the end of the season.
Tim Sant 9 (1×4)
Francois Geldenhuys 57* (1×6, 6×4)
Hannes Engelbrecht 4
Neville Cooper 63* (8×4)
Ryan Cooper 11 (2×4)
Francois Siebrits 15* (1×6, 2×4)
TOTAL: 167/3 (31.3 overs)
Andrew Young 7-0-29-0
Ryan Cooper 7-3-19-3
Michael van Dewenter 6-0-30-1
Hannes Carlson 7-0-26-3
Jacques Laubscher 4-0-24-1
Francois Siebrits 3-0-23-0
Tim Sant 1-0-13-0