ENGLISHMAN Jack Stanier knew little of what to expect from Wendouree.
Working in Ballarat for a gap year, Saturday was Stanier’s first taste and gauge of Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts action.
He nabbed 5-58 off 18 overs that included two maidens, effectively breaking apart the Red Caps then mopping up the tail at Wendouree 2.
Golden Point can now start planning for an achievable 217-run winning target, but this two-day game remains very much in the balance with play to resume on Saturday.
The Red Caps featured five players from last season’s premiership match and drew on youngsters to step up.
They still had quality, seasoned players in the order.
“I heard Wendouree had won the championships five times, so I knew it was going to be a tough first game,” Stanier said.
“I had a really good day but there’s a long way to go yet.”
Stanier’s team back in England was relegated last season, so he came out to Australia to improve his game.
It is something he has dreamed about since he was a kid, watching
Australia deliver the English a hiding in the Ashes.
Stanier can hardly wait for this summer’s Ashes in Australia – he has already booked tickets for the Boxing Day and Sydney tests.
Used to colder cricket climates – and snow-covered opening rounds – Stanier relished the mild Ballarat afternoon.
The clean, wicket-to-wicket medium pacer collected key Red Caps’ scalps of opener Cole Roscholler (29 runs) and middle order bat Liam Brady, who held together the order with 79 runs.
Brady also made a solid fifth-wicket stand of 39 runs alongside 15-year-old Nathan Sparks, a late call-up into the team for an ill Nick Hynes.
The Red Caps were struggling to build momentum late until a handy 22 runs from Eamon Johnson, batting number eight, kept the tally ticking.
Stanier, who works as a teaching assistant and boarding house staff at St Patrick’s College, looked forward to testing how Point measured up against the new-look Red Caps with the bat.
He will likely bat down the Point order, to size up play and try to settle in.