CARMARTHEN Wanderers’ batters were left wondering what had hit them as Usk CC 1st XI blitzed them for just 37 runs in the South Wales Premier Two League.
The visitors set a target of 159 all out off 49.1 overs, but if the hosts thought that was eminently reachable, they were forced to think again - all out 122 runs short in just 21.4 overs as Ben Jones ripped through them with six wickets for just seven runs - five of his victims falling for ducks.
Skipper opener Elliott Doyle and fourth man Mika Ekstrom took Usk to 117 with 47 and 58 respectively before the latter fell for the third wicket.
But the next five wickets fell for just 15 runs, with a late cameo of 22 from Ryan Jones managing to lift the score past the 150-mark.
Any doubts that the target would be enough were soon eased however, as wicketkeeper Ryan Jones snapped up a catch off a Ben Jones delivery third ball to dismiss the Wanderers opener for a duck, before the duo repeated the dismissal with the new man, again for a duck, moments later (4-2).
The other opener soon went for 18 holing out to Doyle off a Freddie Wolfenden ball, and five balls later host skipper Gareth Thomas was on his way without scoring, holing out to Doyle off another Jones delivery (20-4).
Jones was proving unplayable, and added three more victims, all lbw, for just a single scored off the bat as Wanderers collapsed to 28-8.
And former Qatar skipper Tamoor Zafar polished off the innings, bowling the 11th man second ball for a duck.
The 2nd XI also enjoyed a 66-run win at home to Barry Athletic 2nds in South East Wales League 4, openers Dougie Spencer (52) and Matt Hancock (60) seeing them past the 100-mark without loss as they went on to set a target of 211-7 off 40 overs.
And Theo Barker with three wickets and Jake Roderick, Joe Peacock and Jamie Jones with two apiece did the bulk of the damage in reply, as Barry were all out for 143 in 35.4 overs.
But the 3rds fell nine runs short in their run chase away to Pontymister & Cross Keys 2nds in Division 10 after being set 110-9 off 40 overs, all out for 101 with seven overs left to play.
But the Sunday Friendly XI won a high-scoring affair by four wickets at home to Malpas, Matthew Williams firing 84, backed by Jamie Jones with 46 and Joe Peacock with 41, as they chased down 235-4 with four overs to spare (236-6).
Meanwhile, Glangrwyney 1st XI’s match at home to Porth was abandoned after a home player collapsed with a suspected heart attack.
Luckily, team-mates were able to grab the club’s brand new defib and resuscitate Mark Waldeck, 51, before paramedics arrived half to take over.
The player was recovering in hospital over the weekend, and team-mate James Luckhurst said he had been able to joke about “being surrounded by angels in white” before being taken away in the ambulance.
Visitors Porth were just beginning their reply to Glan’s 121-5 when the incident happened.
Before the game, players had also paid tribute to Porth’s former skipper Mark Lang from Cardiff, who died last month from critical injuries after being hit and dragged under his delivery van.
Glan 2nds suffered a 309-run loss away to Ponthir 3rds in SEWCL 13E after being set a huge 345-1 off 40 overs, Matthew Adams hitting 150 not out and Jonathan Bullock 125 not out.
The visitors never even got to base camp in reply, crumbling to 7-7 until skipper Neil Jones with 12 and Keiran Devoy with 10 helped them to 36 all out in 14.2 overs.
But Llanarth 1st XI beat hosts Ponthir in Division 5 by eight wickets after being set a target of 210-9 off 45 overs.
An unbeaten 81 from Paul Gittins, including 11 fours and two sixes, backed by Ollie Mann with 52 and Will Heath with 28 took them to 211-2 with six overs to spare to claim victory, with Tom Heath with three wickets, Gary Holley and Dennis Heath with two apiece the pick of their bowlers.
Peter Wilson with 57 and Gerry Stentiford with 52 helped their 2nd XI to 172-7 off 40 overs at home to Monmouth 2nds in Division 12E.
And Piers Bisson then took 5-15 to help restrict the visitors to 115-9 to claim a 57-run win.
Fixtures this Saturday (May 20) include – Usk 1st XI v Chepstow 1st XI, Monkswood 1st XI v Usk 2nd XI, Usk 3rd XI v Penarth 4th XI, Hopkinstown 1st XI v Llanarth 1st XI, Llanarth 2nd XI v Lisvane 5th XI, Pontnewynydd 1st XI v Glangrwyney 1st XI, Glangrwyney 2nd XI v Malpas 3rd XI.