Hughes cruises to maiden double-ton
South Australia 4 for 520 (Hughes 204, Klinger 125, Head 98, Duffield 3-114) lead Western Australia 434 by 86 runs
If Phillip Hughes was told by the national selectors to go away and score runs, he could hardly have responded in a stronger fashion. On the third day of South Australia's Sheffield match against Western Australia at Adelaide Oval, Hughes scored his maiden first-class double-century and it took a run-out to end his mammoth innings as the Redbacks took control and first-innings points in a match probably destined to be a draw.
Hughes and Michael Klinger put on 253 for the opening wicket in a high-scoring contest on the Adelaide drop-in pitch, which first-day centurion Marcus North described as having "not a lot of life and bounce". Klinger scored his 16th first-class hundred and was eventually the first man dismissed for 125 when he edged onto his pads and the ball looped back up for a return catch to the bowler Ryan Duffield.
But Hughes just batted on and on, turning his 22nd first-class hundred into his first double-century, bettering his previous highest score of 198. He reached the milestone from his 391st delivery with a classy drive between mid-on and midwicket from the bowling of Ashton Agar, but in Agar's next over the 533-minute innings ended when Hughes cut, tried for a second run and was beaten by a strong throw from Nathan Coulter-Nile.
If Hughes can add more big runs to his 204, he will ensure that the selectors consider his name if a batting position becomes available during the Ashes, after he was dropped following the first two Tests of the Ashes in England this year. He struck 26 fours in his innings and was ably assisted by the teenage No.3 Travis Head, who for the second consecutive match fell in the 90s and missed the chance for his maiden hundred.
Head was caught behind for 98 off the bowling of Duffield, who picked up his third wicket when he had Trent Lawford caught for a brisk 25. But by then South Australia had comfortably taken first-innings points and at stumps they had moved along to 4 for 520, with Tom Cooper on 33, Tim Ludeman on 12, and the advantage having moved along to 86 runs.