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November 27, 2001
It says something for Wade Cornelius' attitude that he rated the advance in his batting average, minuscule as it may have been, almost as enjoyable as the career-best bowling figures of seven for 53 he achieved for Canterbury against Wellington at Rangiora today.
The New Zealand Cricket Academy graduate this year helped rock Wellington to the point where they were 29/7 at one stage before a late recovery saw them reach 126.
But Cornelius, bowling with fire and brimstone in not especially helpful conditions, provided an early example of his potential after only five first-class games.
"They were my best figures in any form of cricket. I've had a couple of six-fors but just as important was the fact I was four not out when we batted and I moved my average from 0.2 to one, so I am on the right side of the ledger now," he said.
That was the immediate pay off for the Academy as a lot of work was put into his batting during his time at the centre of cricket learning at Lincoln University.
But there was also plenty of attention paid to his bowling which was borne out today.
"There was a bit of swing early on out there but it flattened out after a while.
"But I always like playing out here, there's always a bit of a crowd. I just decided to give it everything and bowl as fast and as intimidatingly as I could," he said.
Cornelius also acknowledged the support of the experienced Warren Wisneski at the other end.
"I reckon he probably deserved a five-for more than I did. He is great to bowl with and there were stages when he would run up to me from slip and give me a hint. He's good at pulling the reins in a bit when you are getting wound up and that is great.
"He's had so much experience and he is a bowling mentor for the guys," he said.
As Wellington tumbled to 29/7 Cornelius was surprised at the way they kept losing wickets in pairs. Both he and Wisneski were sitting on hat-tricks at different stages.
It was the hope of every bowler that he could have such a haul of wickets early in his career, he said, but what it did show him was that he could go on and compete at first-class level.
"I have to give a lot of credit to the Academy. I was averaging 62 with the ball before today and 0.2 with the bat.
"I've got a long way to go but today's performance was very satisfying."
The Academy had not resulted in any significant changes to his bowling action, rather fine tuning and the develop of an outswinger to the right-hander. That had worked well for him today while there was still shine on the ball.
"I use it sparingly, if you let them see it too much they will work it out," he said.
"What the Academy did do was encourage me to know my action and it definitely helped my game," he said.
That was apparent to Wellington today as another name was launched onto the first-class scene in conditions that were not as helpful as bowlers generally like.
And that bowling average of 60?
It now stands at a much more respectable 30.25.