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.

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  • Christopher on December 1, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    @Big_Maxy_Walker. White has played 4 more innings than Hughes for 35 extra runs, 1 less 100 and an ave 20 runs lower. I can understand you suggesting North, who has played 2 more innings and is 9 years older than Hughes getting a mention. He's played out of his skin this season, though both players have 10% lower 1st class averages. Of the younger brigade, it would be reasonable to suggest that Hughes is a cut above. Before having his game interfered with by someone in his own squad in '09, he was the youngest to score 100 in a Shield final, a Bradman Medallist, a Steve Waugh Medallist, a Shield Player of the Year and still holds several Test records in Wisden, including the youngest ever to score twin 100's in a Test match. His Test average was 69 and his 1st class average 63-That having played on 3 continents successfully. There is talk that he's returned to his original game. I hope so. I expect when his story is finally told, it will make many wish they could retract their views.

  • Christopher on December 1, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    I'm surprised some observers are still reversing cause and effect and pontificating over Hughes 'technical issues'. None existed before joining the Aus squad in '09. He dominated with almost 600 runs for Middlesex in 3 matches, before the Lions game. Can it have so easily escaped public comment, that Neil DeCosta, his long time mentor, described him being 'forced to prepare in a manner that wasnt suited to his game', on joining the squad. Can those who have seen the Youtube of his twin 100's in Durban vs a vastly superior 1100 Test wicket SA attack of Steyn, Morkel, Ntini, Harris and Kallis, doubt the sudden significant change in style that accompanied his demise and question why he changed. Were they not paying attention when Nielsen announced that he hadn't been in their plans for the Ashes-Watson had. Did they not see the SA attack try and fail with the same tactic? He succeeded on 3 continents. Then he was instructed to play text book and more onside. That was the genuine cause.

  • Dummy4 on December 1, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    Ponting is right... Hughes is clearly the best young batsmen in the country and should be given a position in the Test team to make his own, whether it be opening or no.6. Stop shuffling him up and down the order. Watson is always an automatic selection so why can't Hughes be given the same treatment?

  • Eddie on November 30, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    @Barnesy. Hughes is not a cut above. North has one more hundred than him this season. Cameron White is close too

  • kieran on November 30, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    @Meety, Agree he was a bit hard done by, but where do you fit Ferg in the odi lineup? Maybe if Clarke gives them up he might get a shot. Watson, Warner, Hughes, Clarke, Bailey, Wade (Hartley?), Maxwell, Faulkner, Johnson, Mackay, Doherty...whatever lineup you throw up, even White is more deserving right now.

  • Andrew on November 30, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    The question is not whether Ferguson should be in the Test team (record is inferior to Bailey who shouldnt be in the Test team) - it is whether Ferguson should be in the ODI side. He has been treated poorly in that respect. I am a fan of Ferg, really happy he scored runs, but I think he needs a big season this yr, then another next yr to be in the running.

  • kieran on November 30, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    @ xtrafalgarx, sorry mate, obviously I wasn't clear. Ferguson, no. Hughes, yes.

  • James on November 30, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    @HatsforBats: 9 hundreds after 10 years though, not enough. Considering Hughes already has 22 and scored another today at 25 years of age says it all. Even Khawaja who struggled at tests has 11, Marsh has 7, Fergie has 8 before this so that's not good enough to knock the door down, but he is agood player.

  • kieran on November 30, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    9th hundred. Says it all really. If anyone is deserving of a solid run of test matches at number 6, surely it's the most consistent domestic run scorer and prodigious talent in the land?

  • Eden on November 30, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Good to see Ferg make a big score and well done Hughes. If Watson can keep getting a spot why not Hughes

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