Hannes Carlson got his reign as Rollers captain off to a winning start on Sunday with an emphatic eight-wicket win against The Warriors at Stellenberg High School.
Casper took over the captain’s armband from Neville Cooper, who then put in a Man of the Match performance to help his successor to victory.
There was a long-awaited return to Rollers colours for Claude Louw – his first game in three years, as well as a debut for young Aayden Cooper, who was impressive in the field after the late withdrawal of Nico Kamfer.
The Rollers fielded first and got off to a flying start, with Ryan Cooper picking up a wicket with his third ball of the day. It was a sign of things to come.
Claude got in on the act at the other end, though he would be the first to admit he had very little to do with it. A slow, wide full-toss was middled, only for Casper to take one of the finest Rollers catches ever at short-cover – a diving, one-handed effort.
Michael van Dewenter replaced Claude and took a wicket in his first over, before Jacques Laubscher followed suit, bowling captain Arthur Mostert. Scooter followed that up with another wicket in his second over to finish with brilliant figures of 6-2-18-2.
Casper brought himself on and took a wicket with his first ball, before The Warriors showed some fight, with Van Dyk hitting some lusty blows, including two massive sixes.
But again Casper had the answer, bringing on Neville and his leg-spin. His first ball was reminiscent of Shane Warne’s ‘Ball of the Century’ against Mike Gatting – drifting in and pitching on leg before hitting the top of off-stump.
His second ball was less good – a wide down legside – but he was soon at it again, getting the wicket of Van Dyk to finish with figures of 3-0-10-2.
Fabio De Dominicis, our Italian import, wrapped up the innings with a wicket in his first over as The Warriors were bowled out for 98.
Ryan and Neville took first strike in chasing down the moderate target, but Ryan was soon back in the stands, caught behind for 9.
That was as good as it got for the hosts though, as Neville and Claude took a liking to the bowling attack and flayed them to all parts, in particular Pienaar le Roux, who went for 19 in one over.
Claude was eventually trapped LBW for 36 with one run needed, but Neville ended the game in style – a towering six over square-leg than also took him to his 50.
So a comprehensive eight-wicket victory – now on to the much tougher prospect of Scorpions next week.
Ryan Cooper 9 (1×4)
Neville Cooper 53* (1×6, 7×4)
Claude Louw 36 (7×4)
TOTAL: 104/2 (16.1 overs)
Claude Louw 3-0-17-1
Ryan Cooper 4-1-15-1
Michael van Dewenter 3-1-7-1
Jacques Laubscher 6-2-18-2
Hannes Carlson 4-0-30-1
Neville Cooper 3-0-10-2
Fabio de Dominicis 1-0-7-1