New South Wales v Western Australia, SCG, Pura Cup, 1st day November 2, 2004

Thornely saves the Blues with double-century

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 9 for 351 (Thornely 204*) v Western Australia

Dominic Thornely and Stuart MacGill have so far put on 151 for the ninth wicket © Getty Images
Dominic Thornely scored an amazing double-century to lift New South Wales from a desperate position to a dominant one in the Pura Cup match against Western Australia at the SCG.

Thornely, who hit 18 fours and nine sixes, was 76 when the ninth wicket fell at 200, and even a century seemed unlikely when he was joined by Stuart MacGill. But MacGill hung around for almost two hours as the pair added an unbeaten 151 for the 10th wicket.

Reaching his century off 211 balls, Thornely then moved into attacking mode and his next hundred came from 81 deliveries and featured eight sixes. MacGill contributed only one run to the first 100 of the partnership before hitting out late in the day.

"He's played just as much a role in that innings as I did," Thornely said of MacGill. He explained that MacGill used a rain delay to devise a system of playing the bowlers, which he followed to perfection. "His tuition was instrumental in our partnership. Had we not had a chat in the rain break I would have thrown the bat a bit more but he said: "This is the way we should go about it". Stuart was terrific today."

Mike Hussey, Western Australia's captain, had grudging praise for the pair. "I've never seen anything like that and I hope not to see it again," he said. "Thornely did it beautifully. At one stage I didn't know whether to bring the field in or push them back because he was hitting it so cleanly."

Until the stand, Western Australia had been in charge. The left-arm wrist spinner Beau Casson took 3 for 57 while Shaun Marsh grabbed three great catches at bat-pad. Bowling in tandem, Hogg and Beau Casson claimed two wickets each as New South Wales, who won the toss, lost 4 for 19 in the last 30 minutes of the middle session. Darren Wates, the opening bowler, stepped up for his injury-hit side by dismissing Greg Mail with his fifth ball and having Phil Jaques caught at first slip by Kade Harvey.