Mansoor hat trick helps Chepstow to win over rivals

By Monmouthshire Beacon/Chepstow Beacon in Cricket

South East Wales Cricket League Division One (First XI) - Sudbrook (92-8 from 32 overs) lost to Chepstow (197 all out from 49 overs) by 105 runs

TACTICS played a major part as Chepstow Firsts gained revenge for May’s home defeat by Sudbrook.

With rain predicted, both skippers had plans to ensure their team’s success.

When home captain Jamie Watkins won the toss, he asked Chepstow to bat first.

Chepstow, like Sudbrook, were without a number of regulars and Gareth Ansell and Dave Teague opened the batting.

After Teague departed, bowled by Watkins, Malith Madurasinghe joined Ansell (33) and when the opener was out, the visitors were 69-2.

David Bennett joined Madurasinghe and the pair shared a partnership of 51 before the latter became the first of Ian Simmonds’ three victims, after making 35.

Bennett cut, swept, drove and edged his way to a fine 69, losing partners as Dean Wallace and Simmonds bowled in tandem and good work in the field – including two fine catches by Ed Neale and Ben Supple – and smart wicket-keeping by Lewis saw Chepstow’s innings stall from 117-2 at the drinks break to 197 all out.

But as clouds looked more threatening, Dobbie’s decision to bowl as many overs as early as possible saw him open the attack with Luke Watson at the other end.

The ploy worked a treat as Sudbrook lost Greg Shaw and Kel Stevens, both to seemingly debatable lbw decisions, without troubling the scorer.

Lewis then lost partners regularly for low scores before departing straight after reaching his half-century and becoming Rizan Mansoor’s first victim in a remarkable hat-trick with Neale and Supple the unfortunate bit-players.

After Sudbrook lost Watkins and Scott O’Leary cheaply, Matt Spencer (12) was the second top scorer in a dismal display.

With rain falling steadily and unlikely to ease, the umpires called a halt at the end of the 32nd over and Watkins conceded defeat with his team on 92-8.

Later, Dobbie explained the reasoning behind his bowling tactics.

“We knew the game was likely to be short so when we batted first, the main thing was to get as many runs as possible and then get to 20 overs as quickly as possible,” he said.

“The Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system (DLS) stipulates that to be a valid match, each side needs to have had 20 overs so with two short run-ups, we could get through a lot of overs quickly,

“We all did our jobs and Luke Watson bowled extremely well.”

Watkins said his decision to bat second were similar to Dobbie’s.

“Given the overhead conditions we struggled early on giving Chepstow far too many boundary balls,” he said.

“At drinks, Chepstow were on their way to a big total but our bowling and fielding improved dramatically, thanks to the efforts of Dean Wallace who bowled with skill and craft as always and Ian Simmonds who held a good line and length throughout.

”We were happy to chase 198 but the wicket was starting to hold up. Our chase couldn’t have got off to a worse start and that set the tone. We struggled and it was a disappointing derby.

“We were missing a lot of first team regulars, but that’s no excuse. We were second-best all day and the best team won. We go again at Pentyrch next Saturday.”

Bob Cypher

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