New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, Wellington, 1st day

A dream come true for debutant Arnel

Brydon Coverdale at the Basin Reserve

March 19, 2010

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Brent Arnel is mobbed after his first Test wicket, New Zealand v Australia, 1st Test, 1st day, Wellington, March 19, 2010
Brent Arnel is mobbed after his first Test wicket © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Brent Arnel
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of New Zealand
Teams: New Zealand

Brent Arnel couldn't have wished for a more immediate impact on Test cricket. On debut, Arnel picked up his first wicket with his fifth ball, when Phillip Hughes edged to slip. The only problem is that half his family and friends were in the air, on their way from Hamilton thanks to his late call-up.

"A lot of people were waiting to see if I was in, they were jumping on the quickest flight," Arnel said. "Hopefully my wife is here. I haven't actually seen if she is. I know my mother and stepfather is, and my dad was coming down.

"I was ecstatic [with the wicket]. Dream come true, especially to get it so early. It was probably more a batsman error than my bowling, but I'll take it. [Daniel Vettori] showed his faith in me and I was quite happy to get the ball quite early. He just said after Timmy [Tim Southee] had bowled two, he said BA you're down that end, and just gave me a little smile."

Vettori's smile grew when Arnel returned for a later spell and collected the vital wicket of Simon Katich, who was anchoring Australia's innings with 79. Katich was trapped lbw to Arnel, who enjoyed nibbling the ball around off the green-tinged Wellington pitch and finished with the best figures of 2 for 70.

The Katich dismissal left Australia at 176 for 4 but by stumps they had reached 316 for 4, guided by a 140-run stand from Michael Clarke and Marcus North. Arnel said it was a disappointing end to the day after a positive start that featured a sharp run-out from BJ Watling to remove RIcky Ponting.

"We let ourselves down quite a lot," he said. "We knew going in to the third session what we had to do and we didn't execute the plans. We needed to put the pressure on and Clarke and North came out quite positive. They wanted momentum before the next new ball and they got it."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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