SKIPPER Alex Jennings has navigated a spin-friendly Jetty Flat pitch – snaring eight wickets – to propel Warrnambool Gold into under 17 country week favouritism.
The Warrnambool side piled on misery for Horsham-West Wimmera, claiming an outright victory on day one of the tournament.
Jennings terrorised Horsham-West Wimmera’s middle order, claiming four scalps in the first innings and another four in the third as his side pressed for maximum points.
The Woodford all-rounder said his side had the “perfect” start to the week with the performance.
“Both teams had the new ball moving around a lot early and there was turn there for spinners,” Jennings told The Standard.
“I couldn’t have asked for much more from the guys. We’ve had a great start. We’ve just got to look forward to tomorrow and hopefully do the same.
“I can’t wait for the rest of the week. Usually it’s the best week of cricket for the year with all the boys. I go to school with most of them, so it’s great.”
Jennings revealed he was unlikely to take the field for Warrnambool Gold’s second match of the week, with Western Waves commitments forcing him to miss one country week match.
Nirranda’s Jackson Couch is also expected to miss the clash.
Warrnambool Gold coach Corey Couch said his players capitalised on a bowler-friendly pitch and paid tribute to Jennings’ role in the triumph.
Warrnambool restricted Horsham-West Wimmera to just 59 runs in their first innings, and posted 8-136 in reply from just 30 overs before sending their opponents back in bat.
Horsham-West Wimmera managed just 46 in its second innings, falling to an outright loss.
“We bowled really well, really tight. But we backed it up in the field as well,” Couch said.
“It was a pretty tough pitch to bat on, so to get through and to have a sizable lead and then be able to put them to the sword was great.
“I think we’ve got a strong bowling line up. It was probably a bowler’s pitch instead of a batsman’s pitch. Our bowlers were fantastic.”
Elsewhere, five wickets to Nestles dynamo Bailey Jenkinson lifted Warrnambool Blue to victory over South West at Terang.
The Lachie Rooke-coached Warrnambool division two outfit also held on for a nine-wicket victory over geographical rivals Grassmere at Jones Oval.
Colac managed to hold off a late Horsham-West Wimmera revival to clinch a six-run win at Uebergang Oval.
Matches resume across the region at 10am on Wednesday, with the finals on Friday.