South East Wales Cricket League, Division One

Chepstow 1sts (244-6) beat Pontypridd 201-9 by 43 runs

CHEPSTOW Firsts welcomed back their skipper Jason Dobbie as the table-toppers enter the crucial last weeks of the season, writes Bob Cypher.

Dobbie, who has been sidelined because of a knee operation, made a significant contribution with bat and ball to keep his men in first place in Division One.

He also won the toss and decided to bat first, a decision which proved to be a match winner.

Despite losing Carwyn James early on, fellow opener Gareth Ansell posted 49, thanks to 10 boundaries, and Dobbie added 32 before being caught by Thomas Vaal off Gareth Palmer’s bowling.

Dave Bennett top-scored with 73 not out and useful contributions from Aaron Jones (30), Ollie Thornhill (22) and Tyler Morgan-Huggett (13) took Chepstow to a defendable total with three batsmen unused.

In reply, Pontypridd began well, openers Gregor McCain (29) and Tim Foden (84) building a stand of 61 for the first wicket, but after Vaal was back in the pavilion, having made 28, no-one else made a significant score and single-figure efforts compounded the problem.

Lewys Jones took 3-38 with one maiden, Tudor Morgan-Huggett took 3-48 and Malith Madurasinghe claimed 2-43, with Dave Bennett dismissing one late-order batsman caught and bowled for 12.

In what he described as a welcome win, all-rounder Madurasinghe said the return of their skipper was a major factor in the victory.

“Gareth Ansell and Dave Bennett batted really well to set-up a decent total,” he said.

“Jason and Aaron bowled tight spells to strangle the Pontypridd run-chase and Lewys Jones and Tudor Morgan-Huggett made the most of that to see us to victory.

“It was great to have the skipper back.”