JASON Cook handed Usk victory on a plate as he took Chepstow’s first three wickets.

In a match reduced to 44 overs because of delays finding match-quality cricket balls, Chepstow found scoring difficult, the opening batsmen taking 73 deliveries to register 32 runs before both fell LBW to Cook.

Malith Madurasinghe (19 from 47) and David Teague (13 from 26) found runs hard to come by as Cook and his bowling partner Sam Morris – assisted by aggressive fielding – kept the pressure on with a number of accurate deliveries.

When Teague departed, Scott Bailey faced 14 deliveries with a fielder in the silly mid-on position before departing, bowled by Cook, without troubling the scorers.

Jamie Rayner replaced Bailey and steadied the ship somewhat, helping to double Chepstow’s score before losing partner Jason Dobbie (25) who attempted a mighty heave back over bowlerHuw Wilcox’s head but was caught just inside the boundary by Lorne Burns.

Tuhin Gavand was next to partner Rayner and the pair scored steadily, taking the home side to 150 before he was caught, also by Burns, off the bowling of Oliver James for 45.

As the overs ticked by, spectators were hoping Rayner would at least register his half-century before running out of time or partners and he didn’t disappoint achieving it in the final over before being run out, leaving Usk a target of 176 runs.

Having contributed in the field, Burns set about doing further damage with the bat, scoring more steadily than fellow opener Mark Tamplin but then offered Jon Roberts a caught and bowled opportunity that the bowler happily accepted.

That brought Henry Lewis to the crease and his innings virtually assured victory for the visitors.

Despite Mitchell Harris bowling Tamplin for 31, Lewis amassed a personal total of 69 before being stumped by Bryan Dickenson but thanks to Oliver James’ 37 not out and Richard Catchpole (7 not out), Usk reached their target with only nine deliveries left.

“The game looked closer on paper than it was,” admitted Chepstow vice-captain Madurasinghe.

“We didn’t score enough runs and they batted well so they deserved the win,” he added.

● Also in Division One, Sudbrook (156-6) beat Tondu (155) by four wickets.

Abergavenny (194) lost to Blackwood (195-5) by five wickets