The Rollers’ unbeaten start to the season came to an abrupt ending on Sunday, crashing to a comprehensive seven-wicket defeat at Edgemead.
After two easy wins against Warriors and Scorpions, confidence was high going into a fixture where we have won more than lost.
But right from the get-go things were off to a poor start given the absence of our captain Hannes Carlson, and worse was to follow as Shaun Rademan had to leave the field through illness and Mark Haselau was off to the hospital after trying to catch the ball with the tip of his pinky.
But the batting was rather good in the early stages. Neville Cooper and Cornell Keulder (21 off 36) opened for the second week running and provided another solid platform – 55 for the first wicket against some disciplined bowling and sharp fielding.
Claude Louw (16 off 13) joined and played some lusty blows before losing his wicket with the score on 78, from which it all went downhill.
Neville (33 off 66) played one of the ugliest shots of his 43 years soon after, before Mark got a first-baller and George Kamfer followed soon after.
Ryan Cooper and Michael van Dewenter steadied the ship with a 34-run partnership, but Ryan’s departure for 46 (39 balls) triggered a collapse which saw the last four wickets fall for 15 runs.
Michael was last man out on 18 and, with a player short, it left Edgemead with a challenging 149 for victory.
The hosts would have been worried after nine overs, having only managed 21 runs and lost two wickets through some excellent fielding.
Ryan grabbed the first one – a sharp catch at second slip off a brisk Cornell delivery – before Jacques Laubscher took the catch of the season – a high one-hander at gully off a flashing cut shot.
But that’s as good as it got for the Rollers. A succession of dropped catches, injuries, illness and bad luck meant the next wicket only fell at 142, with the hosts closing in on victory.
This after a hard-working 127-run third-wicket partnership between Austen and Verreyne.
Claude duly floated a couple of full-tosses outside off to ensure a quick finish and get his team out of the sun and into the bar.
So on to the next game – and it should be a cracker against traditional rivals Coastal Strikers.
Neville Cooper 33 (66 balls) – 3×4
Cornell Keulder 21 (36 balls) – 3×4
Claude Louw 16 (13 balls) – 1×6, 2×4
Ryan Cooper 46 (39 balls) – 8×4
Mark Haselau 0 (1 ball)
George Kamfer 3 (4 balls)
Michael van Dewenter 18 (17 balls) – 3×4
Jacques Laubscher 0 (2)
Shaun Rademan 0 (3)
Nicky Rheeder 1*
Claude Louw 6.4-2-14-1
Cornell Keulder 7-0-26-2
Ryan Cooper 3-0-21-0
Jacques Laubscher 5-0-22-0
Michael van Dewenter 5-0-25-0
Nicky Rheeder 3-0-16-0
Darren MacGurk 3-0-25-0