New South Wales young gun Nic Maddinson expressed his relief at getting 'runs on the board' in Hobart on Friday as the Blues took first-innings points and full control of the Sheffield Shield contest against Tasmania.
The 21-year-old starred for the Blues, making 154 as the visitors chased down their 426-run deficit.
He shared a 188-run sixth-wicket partnership with fellow centurion Trent Copeland, who finished with a career-best 106.
Made to labour on a flat pitch, the Tigers could hardly buy a wicket during the afternoon session and allowed the Blues to take a 75-run lead into the second innings, meaning the match is now likely to end in stalemate.
"I haven't had the year I wanted so it's more relief for me," Maddinson said after posting his third Shield century.
"It's been probably just over two years since my last one so it's good to get some runs on the board."
Maddinson burst onto the first-class scene with a century on debut in 2010 but by his own admission has struggled to recapture that kind of form in the last two seasons.
"I've made a big few steps the last couple of weeks. I've got a few starts in second XI games and club cricket and I sort of got back to where I was feeling comfortable and confident in my batting again. Coming into this game I felt like there was a big opportunity there if I was good enough to take it."
And while his chanceless innings is sure to turn heads, Maddinson is determined not to get too far ahead of himself, telling reporters any international ambitions are still far from his mind.
"There's so many changes in Australian cricket at the moment there’s going to be a lot of new guys in the side and as we've seen over the last six months, and more recently with a few retirements, there's always opportunities for guys doing well, but I think it comes back to putting one or two years of strong performances on the board before you’re considered for selection."
Despite the Blues removing Tasmanian opener Ben Dunk for a golden duck late on Friday, Maddinson admitted the prospect of outright points in Hobart doesn't look likely for either side - and that his side will likely be satisfied to leave Hobart with first innings points.
"If they wanted to make a game of it they would have declared yesterday, a little bit earlier, or Tassie could have had a bit of a crack yesterday morning," he said.
"I think that's where the game could have turned into something then, but once they posted 400 I think we thought about it, but at the end of the day the wicket is so tough (to bowl on) I think two points is a good result."
Tasmanian quick Luke Butterworth took five wickets for the Tigers in a performance that was particularly impressive given the tough conditions for bowlers at Blundstone Arena.
He admitted the match was beyond the Tigers, a situation that had become obvious once the Blues opted against a sporting declaration on the third day.
"(An early declaration from NSW) was the way we were going to win the game. That's put us out of the game now," Butterworth said.
"Whether a result comes out of it, hopefully not. Our plan is just to bat as long as we can now."
"Our first goal is to pass them and then if we bat to tea tomorrow, I think that's game over."
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 09 February, 2013 10:00AM AEST