Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/7/ponting-smashes-double-ton

Ponting smashes double ton

UPDATED 07 February, 2013 6:36PM AEST | by Stu Warren, Omnisport 9

A state record seventh-wicket partnership between Ricky Ponting and Jason Krejza dominated the second day's play in the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and New South Wales in Hobart.

The partnership worth 293 runs was Tasmania's highest when six down, and the second highest for the seventh wicket in Shield history - propelling the home side to 6-425 when Tim Paine declared midway through the second session.

By stumps, the Blues had moved cautiously to 1-145 with former Tiger David Dawson (70 not out) leading the way at the top of the order and receiving solid support from Tim Cruickshank (37 not out) in a 76-run partnership for the second wicket.

Resuming at 6-310, the Tigers pair that had proved impossible to separate on Wednesday afternoon continued their mastery of the visiting attack and set about capitalising on a flat Blundstone Arena deck.

Ponting turned back the clock with his unbeaten 200 featuring the full scope of his shot-making ability while Krejza was more than just a handy lower-order contributor, posting his maiden Shield century on the way to 118 not out.

Despite probing spells from Josh Hazlewood (3-76) and Doug Bollinger (0-50), the Blues couldn't buy a breakthrough as both batsmen reached their milestones and Paine called an end to the Tasmanian innings.

Australian paceman Ben Hilfenhaus (0-24) took the new ball for Tasmania in his first game back since a side-strain suffered during the Hobart Test in early December.

But Dawson and Scott Henry (27) were in no mood to gift the big quick a wicket and negotiated their way to tea without loss as the Tigers struggled to make the new ball swing.

Luke Butterworth (1-25) eventually made the breakthrough for Tasmania, cramping left-handed Henry from around the wicket and enticing a thin edge that was snapped up by Paine behind the stumps.

The acting captain could have had a hand in another wicket when he grassed a tough leg-side chance from Krejza's (0-30) bowling, but Cruickshank would have considered himself unlucky had his leg glance been pouched.

Dawson passed the half-century mark from 118 balls, bringing it up with a cover drive for four from Hilfenhaus and continued in resolute fashion as the afternoon wore on.

Earlier, Ponting motored past the 150 mark with consecutive fours through cover from Trent Copeland and then cruised to a double-century - his third for Tasmania - in a masterful innings that lasted more than seven hours and featured 27 boundaries and a six.

The retired Test great now has 555 runs in Shield cricket this season at an astounding average of 185 and in current form will be a huge weapon for the Tigers as they push for a second consecutive Shield final.

But with the Blues digging in on a placid pitch that has seen just one wicket fall in almost five sessions, first innings points are still up for grabs and an outright result – one that is vital for both sides – still looks unlikely.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 07 February, 2013 6:34PM AEST

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