Victoria v New South Wales, Sheffield Shield, MCG, 3rd day February 14, 2010

Hughes finds form as NSW fight

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 225 & 4 for 253 (Hughes 149, S Smith 69*) lead Victoria 418 (McDonald 120, Rogers 80*, Wade 53) by 60 runs

Phillip Hughes found a crucial time to score his second Sheffield Shield century of the season as he gave New South Wales a chance to stay in the game. After Victoria took a 193-run lead on first innings, Hughes starred in the reply with 149 as the Blues reached 4 for 253 at the end of the third day.

Hughes' form has been patchy throughout the season and he has split with his manager, so it was a welcome contribution as he struck 23 fours and a six during his 170-ball occupation. New South Wales were heading for an outright defeat at 3 for 35, but Hughes found a partner in Steven Smith (69) and the young pairing moved the Blues ahead. They put on 194 at five an over for the fourth wicket, with Hughes falling in the last over, and had a buffer of 60 at stumps.

Andrew McDonald sealed first-innings points for Victoria on the way to his 120 and got strong help from Matthew Wade (53) before Chris Rogers extended the advantage. Rogers was sick with a virus over the first two days but showed his strength during an unbeaten 80 that took the Bushrangers to 418. Josh Hazlewood and Trent Copeland gained three wickets each and will probably need some more on the final day to hold up the hosts.