Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/8/krejza-proud-of-special-century

Krejza proud of 'special' century

UPDATED 12 February, 2013 2:32PM AEST | by Stu Warren, Omnisport 1

While it might have been the supporting role as veteran Ricky Ponting carved out a third Sheffield Shield double ton in Hobart on Thursday, Tasmania's Jason Krejza still played the innings of his career to post his maiden Shield century against former state New South Wales.

The 30-year-old off-spinner had joined Ponting with the Tigers in trouble at 6-132 but dug in to share a record seventh-wicket partnership of 293 runs and frustrate the Blues for almost six hours before the home side declared on 6-425 shortly after lunch on day two.

"It means a lot actually. I've played first-class cricket for quite a while and I hadn't got one in Shield cricket," he said after posting a career-best 118 not out, his only previous first-class ton coming for Australia A against Pakistan.

"One of the Tassie things is that sting in the tail and trying to get as many runs as you can from seven downwards and I've always taken it really, really seriously and I think it's paid off today after 10 years of cricket that I've finally got a hundred."

Despite the best efforts of a Blues attack featuring the pace trio of Doug Bollinger, Josh Hazlewood and Trent Copeland, Krejza stood firm alongside his senior partner and admitted having Ponting's experience at the other end was a real advantage throughout.

"It was pretty special for me and obviously doing it out there with Ricky was a pretty big moment," Krejza said.

"It's always good having him at the other end. You look up and he's there and you want to perform to almost impress him. He's very good at keeping you calm out there and keeping you clicking every over.

"At the end of every single over he just looked at me and said 'partnership'. It's a small word, but that was basically what the whole thing was about, getting a partnership and getting that big score."

Having 'worked on defence' in recent times, Krejza was able to hold up his end early in the partnership - a seventh-wicket record for Tasmania and the second-highest ever in Shield cricket - before accelerating as the pitch flattened late on Wednesday.

But with New South Wales reaching stumps for the loss of just one wicket - the only one to fall all day - Krejza said the Tigers know they still have plenty of work to do in making their big first innings count.

"It's a tough situation, we've got to get some wickets," he said.

"It's a very hard wicket to get wickets on and it's hard to score on, so it's just building up a lot of pressure from both ends and partnership bowling.

"The wickets are pretty hard to come by so a couple of sporting declaration would be nice to try and make a game of it."

Meanwhile NSW opener David Dawson will have one eye on a fairytale century when he resumes on 70 not out in Hobart on Friday morning.

The quietly spoken 30-year-old anchored the Blues' response to Tasmania's first-innings 6-425 in their Sheffield Shield clash, the visitors reaching 1-145 by stumps following a day which saw just one wicket fall as bats dominated on a placid pitch.

"Obviously Tassie batted unbelievably well to post a big total and we've started quite strongly so hopefully we can continue in that vein at least for the start of tomorrow," the former Tasmania player said.

"To use an old cliche we'll just take it one ball at a time … (the target) is still a fair way off but if we keep going the way we're going you never know."

Dawson lost his contract with the Tigers in 2009 and stepped away from the first-class game to concentrate on life away from cricket, a move he credits with his return for NSW this season.

"It's quite satisfying so far. It's interesting playing against some of my old mates and it's a lot of fun, to be honest," he said.

"I never gave up hope. The main thing was I sort of got away from the game for a little bit and got a bit of balance in my life and cricket wasn't everything and as a result I started to perform a little bit better and got my opportunity again for New South Wales which has been a dream of mine."

"I'm a little bit older and a little bit more balanced in my life so cricket isn't the be all and end all anymore which takes a lot of pressure of myself and helps me enjoy the game a lot more."

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

First Posted 08 February, 2013 10:34AM AEST

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