For whatever reason, Neil Watson’s team is the one we feel we MUST beat every season, and on a beautiful sunshine day at the Vineyard we got off to the perfect start.
After playing on a Pune Day 10 wicket at Gardens last weekend, the pacy, true pitch on offer was a welcome relief, and the Cooper brothers made the most of the facilities with a 64-run opening stand.
Like most old people, Neville cut everything on offer, but his dismissal for 31 brought about the now customary Rollers collapse. Cornell Keulder (2) and Michael van Dewenter (1) didn’t last long, before Ryan (46) chucked his wicket away with a half-century there for the taking. And when Hannes Carlson (10) departed soon after, the visitors were seemingly down shitstream without a paddle.
As it turned out though, we had two fairly impressive paddles waiting in the wings…
Jarryd van Wyk (74*) and James Lamprecht (32*) set about restoring parity with some degree of class, with the former smashing the ball to all parts of the ground (and over), while James drove his way into many a photographer’s portfolio.
It was a partnership of the highest quality, and the unbeaten 105-run stand ultimately proved the difference in the outcome of the match as WPCC were set 203 for victory.
That target seemed a million miles away after a typical Cornell opening burst. He cleaned up the top order with a vicious spell of outswing bowling, finishing with 4/19 as WPCC collapsed to 45/5 after 11 overs.
But any hopes of an early afternoon were dashed by a combination of dropped catches and some solid middle-order batting, especially from the Kiwi import Shane Eglington. He first put on 66 for the sixth wicket with Trevor Pape (36), before another 34-run stand with Kitshoff (41) meant they only needed eight per over off the last seven.
However, Ryan (1/11 in four) got Shane (53) caught at mid-wicket before Kitshoff was run out in the final over, all but ending the chase as WPCC fell 20 runs short of the target.
As per usual, a great time was had afterwards as the fire burned and the beers flowed. Thanks again to Neil, Trevor, Ian and the rest of the boys for the hospitality and great atmosphere on and off the pitch.
Ryan Cooper 46 (1×6, 6×4)
Neville Cooper 31 (5×4)
Cornell Keulder 2
Michael van Dewenter 1
Hannes Carlson 10 (1×4)
Jarryd van Wyk 74* (2×6, 10×4)
James Lamprecht 32* (3×4)
TOTAL: 202/5 (35 overs)
Cornell Keulder 7-1-19-4
Michael van Dewenter 4-0-23-1
Jacques Laubscher 4-1-12-0
Andrew Young 5-0-35-0
Fabio de Dominicus 4-0-21-1
Ruan de Jongh 2-0-16-0
Hannes Carlson 3-0-25-0
Ryan Cooper 4-0-11-1
Jarryd van Wyk 2-0-16-0