After so much anticipation, the West Coast Rollers’ Golden Oldies campaign got off to a whimper as Australian outfit Griffith University beat us by 39 runs at Old Mutual on Monday.
The Queenslanders sure pulled the wool over our eyes, telling us the night before how rubbish they were and that it would be a quick win for us.
That certainly was not the case – in fact, it turned out to be the complete opposite as the Rollers were hamstrung by a number of hungover players given the festivities of the night before.
There was also the small matter of them ‘loaning’ our opening bowler Cornell Keulder, who reveled at the opportunity of having a go at his own batsmen.
But first the ‘Old Gits’ won the toss and elected to bat, with the opening pair laying a solid, if not particularly exciting foundation.
The Rollers eventually got a breakthrough when Claude Louw (8-1-23-1) bowled Mainey (7), before a Jakes Oberholzer (8-1-46-2) double left the visitors reeling at 58/3 after 19 overs.
But these Aussies are clearly made of sterner stuff and then set among bowling, with Mathers (36*) and Musk (33) taking a liking to the bowlers, before captain Phil van der Kley took advantage of some lethargic fielding and a couple of drop catches to hit a quick-fire 35 not out and take the Gits to 179/6 in 40 overs.
Andrew Young was the Rollers’ best bowler on the day, picking up 2/21 in his seven overs.
So a challenging 180 set to win, and after three overs that looked even more improbable – no runs scored and Hannes Carlson back in the hut for a duck. He would not be the last …
Hannes Engelbrecht followed soon after for 5, gunned LBW by an umpire who had his finger up before the appeal was made. The brothers Cooper then set about restoring the innings, taking the score to 60 when Ryan was forced to retire with his score on 35.
That brought about procession of wickets, with captain Jakes Oberholzer out very next ball, Neville caught for 26, and Andrew (6), Jacques Laubscher (7), Mark Haselau (0), Claude Louw (0) and George Kamfer (0) not troubling the scorers too much.
Ryan returned at the fall of the ninth wicket with the score on 103 and, along with a gutsy knock from Darren McGurk, set about at least causing some nervous moments for the visitors.
That was achieved when they took the score to 140 with eight overs to go, but a leading edge to mid-on saw Ryan caught for 66 and the innings close 39 runs short.
The result was soon forgotten though as the two sides hit the pub, with a brief fines session preceding a lovely mixed grill which went down a treat.
Thanks again to Phil and his team for a great game played in a great spirit. Best of luck for the remainder of your trip.