Victoria v South Australia, Sheffield Shield, Melbourne November 30, 2013

Ferguson and Hughes tons keep SA on top

ESPNcricinfo staff

Victoria 118 and 0 for 78 trail South Australia 343 (Ferguson 110, Hughes 103, Boland 4-62, Ahmed 3-47) by 147 runs

Callum Ferguson and Phillip Hughes both reminded the national selectors of their presence with centuries that kept South Australia firmly on top on the second day against Victoria at the MCG. The Redbacks had claimed first-innings points on the first day after the Bushrangers were skittled for 118, and the second day was largely about South Australia extending their lead in the push for victory.

That was achieved with the help of a 98-run fourth-wicket stand between Hughes and Ferguson, which ended when Hughes was lbw to Fawad Ahmed for 103. The century was Hughes' second from six innings in this Sheffield Shield campaign, and it was followed by a hundred from Ferguson, who has always been a stylish batsman but over a near decade-long career has struggled to pile up enough hundreds to make him a strong Test contender.

Ferguson brought up his ninth first-class century with three boundaries in five deliveries from Clint McKay, and his innings ended on 110 from 187 balls when he was caught behind down leg side off the bowling of Scott Boland, who finished with 4 for 62. Ahmed collected 3 for 47, but one of the most interesting wickets of the day was that of Johan Botha, who was out hit wicket when he tried to get his bat out of the way against Daniel Christian and struck his stumps.

South Australia finished with 343 and a lead of 225, although that had been reduced to 147 at stumps as Victoria moved to 0 for 78 with Rob Quiney on 31 and Aaron Finch on 39.