1:30pm Wednesday 18th June 2014
SWING bowler Tej Saran took the first hat-trick of his career in Monmouth Cricket Club's five-wicket derby win at Monkswood in the Thomas, Carroll Glamorgan and Monmouthshire League.
Saran snapped up 4-28 and then blasted an unbeaten 34 in a man-of-the-match display in his maiden appearance of the campaign.
In reply to Monkwood's 130 all out, Monmouth slipped to 81-5 before Saran smashed the visitors to a much-needed win in the 27th over.
Monmouth are fifth in Division Three and host fourth-placed Ponthir at the Sports Ground this Saturday, 1pm start.
Monmouth, sponsored by JD Wetherspoon, had not played league cricket at Monkswood's Beaufort Arms ground for 24 years and were given a bruising opening in last weekend's match.
Mike Jones blasted a quick-fire 38, including nine boundaries, and Matt Malson made 27 as Monkswood roared to 50-0 from just five overs.
However, Saran's inswinger removed the dangerous Jones and Monmouth fought back to reduce the hosts to 98-6.
Neil Smith snapped up 3-32 from 10 overs, while Alim Hansraj (2-17) and Aled Jones (1-18) all supported the outstanding Saran.
Matthew Jones took two excellent catches in the outfield and Jon Despontin had another fine game behind the stumps as Monmouth shot out the shell-shocked villagers for 130 in the 32nd over.
In reply, Matthew Jones (28) and Josh Grey (21) put Monmouth in a solid position before Monkswood hit back.
Jamie Weller claimed 4-24 and Monmouth skipper Ben Turner made 12 before he became the latest victim of a series of controversial umpiring decisions which affected both teams.
Monmouth looked in trouble at 81-5 but Saran and Hansraj (8 not out) took the visitors home much to the relief of former chairman Gordon Grey, who was celebrating his 60th birthday.
Meanwhile, an unbroken 146-run third-wicket partnership between Martin Newell and Steve Morgan propelled Monmouth Seconds to an eight-wicket home success over Monkswood Seconds.
After restricting Monkswood Seconds to 188-8 from 45 overs, Newell (69 not out) and Morgan (67 not out) batted superbly to take Monmouth to the target with three overs remaining in the 2nd XI Division Three clash.
Previously, youngster Freddie Oubridge claimed his first senior wicket as Monmouth kept their concentration in the field on a hot afternoon.
Tom Vickers (2-25 from nine), Newell (2-36 from nine), skipper Luke Bowley (1-30 from nine), and former wicketkeeper Jon Davies took 1-32 in a rare nine-over spell on his comeback.
Wicketkeeper Tony Jones claimed two catches, while Archie Oubridge and Greg Thomas worked hard and Dan Pilley top-scored for Monkswood with 45.
Monmouth Seconds, sponsored by Ancre Hill Vineyard, travel to Ponthir Seconds in the league this Saturday.
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