Sydney: Opener Jamie Cox enhanced his claims for a Test spot with a century for Tasmania against New South Wales on the opening day of the Sheffield Shield cricket season in Sydney on Wednesday.
| Cox (107), Dene Hills (136) and an unbeaten 75 by Test number three Ricky Ponting, who cracked Test team-mate Glenn McGrath for three consecutive boundaries, were the spark behind Tasmania's stumps total of 328 for four. Tasmania was 318 for one until Stuart Clark took 3-0 in eight balls and forced Scott Kremerskothen to retire hurt by hitting him with a nasty bouncer to invigorate the Blues. Clark also had Dan Marsh caught in slips, finishing the day with four for 24 from 17 overs, compared to Test spearhead McGrath's disappointing haul of none for 86 from 26 overs. Cox, who captained Somerset in the last English county season, could not have timed his innings better. For so many years the 32-year-old has quietly gone about his business, compiling enough first-class runs to earn a place in any Test side in the world except Australia. With a vacancy emerging at the top of the order for the first Test against New Zealand in November, Cox's 42nd first class ton gave selectors food for thought. An unbeaten century by Brad Hodge put Victoria in a comfortable position after the opening day of its match against South Australia at the Adelaide Oval. Hodge battled tough conditions to reach 100 not out at stumps as the Victorians notched up 228 for four. He was joined by Ian Harvey, who finished on 29 not out. Play was extended for an hour after three rain interruptions during the day and even when the lights were switched on, the atmosphere was dim. However, play was abandoned without a ball being bowled on the first day of the game between Queensland and Western Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane. |