Udal savours maiden Test wicket after 19-year wait
by AFP

Player:SD Udal
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 12th November 2005


Veteran England off-spinner Shaun Udal on Saturday relished his first Test wicket at the age of 36, describing the moment as something "special".


"It's a special moment, your first wicket in Test cricket is special and when you waited 19 years to play it's even better," said Udal, who dismissed Pakistani opener Salman Butt on the opening day of the first Test here.


Udal, making his Test debut here, also contributed in helping his team restrict Pakistan to 244-6 in the first innings. The hosts were strongly placed at 161-1 before losing their way.


Pacemen Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison capitalised on Udal's success by claiming two wickets apiece to wrest the initiative from the hosts who had got off to a solid start after winning the toss on an easy-paced pitch.


Udal, who played last of his 10 one-day internationals a decade ago, said discipline was the key to England's comeback.


"The first two or three hours were obviously tough, but the discipline, strength and character this side has shown proves what you can do when you put your minds there," said Udal.


Recollecting his first wicket, Udal said he was a bit confused.


"I was a bit confused where the ball had gone because it hit Marcus (Trescothick). I hoped it had gone straight to him, but I saw it looped into the air and when Marcus still looked for it I thought the moment had gone," he said.


"Then (Geraint) Jones ran backwards and dived and put his hands up in the air and then I lost my control."


Udal, who plays with legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne for the English county side Hampshire, said spinners would come into play as the game progressed.


"The wicket here might turn and bounce for wrist-spinners but for finger spinners you have to eliminate your bad balls," he said.


"I just tried to hit the rough and got the edge. As the game goes on spinners would come into play. Obviously, Danish Kaneria (of Pakistan) is a world-class spinner and might get help."

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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