Hughes ton powers Redbacks

Sportal November 24, 2012, 7:03 pm
Phil Hughes

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Phil Hughes continued to press his claims for a Test recall on Saturday by posting an unbeaten century as South Australia set their sights on first-innings points against Victoria at the MCG.

The Redbacks had reached 2-244 at stumps on day two, after the Bushrangers were bowled out for 346 inside the first session.

Hughes is 127 not out with 18 fours to his name and has Redbacks stalwart Callum Ferguson (48 not out) for company.

The diminutive left-hander's form this summer will have national selectors sitting up and taking notice especially given the inconsistency of Australia's top order against South Africa.

Hughes lost his spot last December after a disastrous series against New Zealand, when he averaged just 10.25.

But after moving to the Redbacks from New South Wales, Hughes has made 434 runs at 48.22 and his classy off-side stroke was again on show against the Bushrangers.

John Hastings, who earlier belted a quickfire 88 to cap Victoria's first innings revival, was Victoria's best bowler with 1-31 from 14 overs while Jayde Herrick (1-79 from 19) claimed the only other wicket to fall on a day dominated by batsmen.

Earlier, South Australia paceman Gary Putland captured career best figures of 7-64 as Victoria were bowled out on the brink of lunch.

Resuming on day two at 6-259, the unbeaten Bushrangers lost Cameron White (88) off the first ball of the day, but late-order hitting from all-rounder Hastings boosted their tally.

Hastings, on the comeback trail after missing all of last summer with a shoulder injury, scored a valuable 80 including 11 fours and two sixes in what was his first half century in three years.

Hastings' knock capped an impressive comeback for Victoria after Putland on Friday captured four top-order wickets to leave the Bushrangers teetering at 5-83.

Putland regained his rhythm immediately on Saturday, removing topscorer White with a brute of a delivery.

After helping turn the tide for Victoria on Friday, White fell 12 runs short of his century when he edged Putland's perfect-length away swinger to gully.

And when Putland clean bowled Jayde Herrick (one) five overs later the Redbacks sensed a swift kill.

But momentum quickly swung the host's way as Hastings teed off.

The Vics found bowling just as tough.

They pushed hard for an early breakthrough but it didn't arrive until the 20th over when Sam Raphael (38) was caught at fine leg after mistiming a Hastings bouncer, ending an 80-run opening stand.

The Bushrangers should have had Raphael out much earlier but Glenn Maxwell and later David Hussey both put down difficult chances in the slips cordon.

Former Victorian Michael Klinger was caught at point by Maxwell off Herrick shortly after tea for 18.

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