The Rollers made sure the festive season break would be a good one following a comprehensive 103-run thrashing of Bellville Willows on Sunday afternoon.
Meeting for the first time in three years and up against a team we don’t have a great record against, things didn’t start too well after stand-in skipper Francois Geldenhuys lost the toss to a Koeberg old boy, Andy Corbellari.
Ask to bat, it didn’t start too well for the Rollers, with Cornell Keulder (1) caught at square-leg off the seventh ball, before Claude Louw (4) hit one to backward-point to leave us struggling at 15/2.
Neville (26) and Ryan Cooper then set about restoring parity, putting on 45 for the third wicket before the older brother was undone by an inswinging yorker.
From there though, it was all the Rollers as ‘French’ Geldenhuys and Ryan put on a record 127-run fourth-wicket stand, taking the visitors to 187 before the captain was well caught on the long-on boundary for a brilliant 58 off 61 balls.
Ryan departed five runs later, falling six runs short of a fourth ton for the team, with his 94 coming off 88 balls and which included 11 fours and two sixes.
The Rollers eventually finished on 197/5 – a formidable target on a wicket which always offered a bit and against a bowling attack currently on top of their game.
And so it proved to be, with Cornell proving a handful with his pace and swing, eventually finishing with figures of 5-3-5-0.
Michael van Dewenter (2/33) took the wickets at the other end, getting the big stick of Corbellari for 14 via a brilliant inswinger, and also Morne Munz for 5.
Willows’ plight worsened considerably with the arrival of Claude, who showed remarkable consistency to pick up the next three wickets, finishing with 3/17 from seven overs as the hosts slumped to 48/5.
Jakes Oberholzer (1/19) and Neville (1/8) also got in on the act, with Neville’s wicket coming courtesy of a incredible catch from George Kamfer (!!!!), who sprinted all of 20 metres from mid-off before making a full-length dive and clutching the ball inches above ground. It’s one of the best catches this author has seen, and arguably one of the best taken in this league.
Jacques Laubscher wrapped up the innings with his eighth wicket of the season as Willows were dismissed for just 94 – a crushing 103-run defeat.
So that’s the action for the first half of the season, with our record reading four wins, one tie and just the one defeat.
Cornell Keulder 1 (2 balls)
Neville Cooper 26 (39 balls, 4×4)
Claude Louw 4 (8 balls, 1×4)
Ryan Cooper 94 (88 balls, 2×6, 11×4)
Francois Geldenhuys 58 (61 balls, 9×4)
Francois Siebrits 4* (9 balls)
George Kamfer 2* (3 balls)
Cornell Keulder 5-3-5-0
Michael van Dewenter 7-1-33-2
Claude Louw 7-1-17-3
Jakes Oberholzer 6-0-19-1
Neville Cooper 2-0-8-1
Jacques Laubscher 1.4-0-1-1
Hannes Engelbrecht 1-0-9-1