Jewell earns hundred in drawn game
Victoria 6 for 429 dec and 1 for 192 (Jewell 100*, Hodge 66*) drew with Tasmania 518 (Di Venuto 129, Bailey 101, Marsh 95*, Moss 4-70)
Nick Jewell and Brad Hodge made the most of their time at the crease as Victoria and Tasmania played out a predictable draw at the MCG. The Tigers reached 518, passing Victoria's 429 in the morning session, and then it was glorified batting practice for the Bushrangers as the captains ignored the chance to manufacture a result on the sunniest day of a rain-affected game.
After bowling well for no return on Thursday, Shane Warne gave Victoria the sniff of a first-innings lead by snaring Brett Geeves caught and bowled for 18. When Brendan Drew played down the wrong line and was bowled by Gerard Denton for 3, Tasmania were 8 for 427 and still needed three runs to pass Victoria.
Daniel Marsh made sure the Tigers took the two points, then he and Adam Griffith (47) frustrated the Bushrangers, adding 86 for the tenth wicket. Victoria were willing to let Marsh take singles - they had eight fieldsmen on the boundary - and attack Griffith and finally Warne had the No. 11 caught at mid-on, leaving Marsh stranded on 95.
With no pressure to push for a result, Jewell took the opportunity to post his second first-class century, making 100 not out, while Hodge followed on from his first-innings 153 with an unbeaten 66. Ricky Ponting tested some bodyline-style tactics, encouraging his fast men to bowl short deliveries from around the wicket with two legslips in place, but no catch was forthcoming. Late in the day the match degenerated as the fast bowler Geeves tried his offspin.
Jewell was pleased with his century, especially considering the legside attack Ponting had used. "It's pretty hard to score if you don't really play the hook shot," Jewell said. "It's not one of my preferred shots. I prefer to just ride them around the corner or get underneath them." He said the Bushrangers were surprised by the way the match petered out. "We were actually expecting them to declare behind and for us to set them a chase," Jewell said.
By taking first-innings points Tasmania put themselves two points clear of New South Wales on the Pura Cup table, although the Blues have played one fewer game.