Australia A v SA A, 2nd unofficial Test, Townsville, 3rd day August 16, 2014

Hughes, Cooper lead strong Australia A reply

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia A 2 for 180 (Hughes 71*, Cooper 57) trail South Africa A 333 (Behardien 107, Ontong 86, Sandhu 4-89) by 153 runs

On the day he earned a national call-up as a replacement for the injured Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes extended a rich run of form by striking an unbeaten 71 that guided Australia A to a strong 2 for 180 on the third day of the four-dayer against South Africa A.

With the second day lost to rain, Australia A will begin the final day 153 runs behind South Africa A, who were propelled to 333 by Farhaan Behardien's 107.

South Africa A began the third day on 5 for 220 but lost David Wiese and Simon Harmer within the first seven overs. Behardien and Hardus Viljoen then staged a recovery of sorts with a 63-run eighth-wicket partnership that helped South Africa A go past 300. Behardien was the last man to fall for his seventh first-class ton and became Gurinder Sandhu's fourth dismissal. The Australia A fast bowler finished with successive four-fors in the series.

In reply, Australia A lost Peter Forrest early but the pair of Hughes and Tom Cooper helped the side recover from the stutter with a 120-run partnership. Cooper was dismissed for 57 but Hughes steadily worked his way to an unbeaten 71 off 206 deliveries and will look to score a third century over the past month before touring with the Australia side to Zimbabwe.

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  • rob on August 17, 2014, 8:48 GMT

    If the selectors had taken Hughes aside and told him the way back was to make heaps of runs, he certainly seems to be doing that. I won't mind at all if Hughes takes out his frustrations on some bowling attacks around the world.

  • Dummy4 on August 17, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    That was Hughe's highest first class score.I hope he plays in Zimbabwe!!!

  • Peter on August 17, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    @jonesy2. There are other sports in Australia & cricket is played in all states in summer. You have only given a Western Australian view. @peterincanada.. There is decent money in all the professional football codes, there is an AFL player announcing his 23rd season next year. Rugby players go to Japan to play club rugby after their careers are over for insane amounts. No doubt the top cricket players get more than player in the football codes (except elite soccer players).

  • James on August 17, 2014, 5:27 GMT

    @Jonesy2: Really? From all accounts cricket is the most watched and most participated sport in Australia statistically - it is still recognised as the national sport.

  • Bryn on August 17, 2014, 5:01 GMT

    Peterincanada -- money is ok in AFL, better than first class cricket obviously but not as good as international cricket. @2nd_Slip- again, rubbish, cricket is about the #3 or sport in australia after AFL, league and maybe union and to say south africa has higher quality talent is again just hilarious as i have already said you cant even get enough players to field a test 11

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2014, 23:52 GMT

    Well done, Phil Hughes! The ball is in your court now. Hope you make plenty of runs on the tour to Zim and make yourself undroppable!

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2014, 22:37 GMT

    @2nd_slip. Im from Cape Town and i must say i think youre completely wrong. SA has plenty of talent and if they had the benefits of a structure like Australias it would be awesome indeed. But youre wrong about Aussie qualities. Youre also wrong to read anything into these series - both teams have nothing near a full strength A team on the park for different reasons. In the first match SA had a team closer to a full strength a team - while in this match its Aus who have a team that looks closer to a full strength A team. Both countries are simply giving young players exposure against foreign strength. Its good for both countries and all performances should be applauded. Getting into arguments over who is better in this way or that is nonsensical. Thats not the purpose of these tours. Its test series that decides that - nothing else - certainly not the rankings - nor our opinions.

  • Peterincanada on August 16, 2014, 20:45 GMT

    @living Is the money that much better at AFL than cricket? It seems to me that a player would have a longer career in criket than AFL due to the nature of the two sports. I would appreciate your input.

  • Michael on August 16, 2014, 13:49 GMT

    @2nd_Slip: Australia's #1 sport is AFL, a sport which is only played in our country so we get no international recognition for it. And for SA, your #1 sport (rugby) Australia is just as good as you at it, so its Australia who is the one who is missing out on talent, not you.

    For example, Mitch Marsh was only a decent AFL player who if he stuck with AFL, may not have even been drafted. Yet with all this in mind, it was still a 50/50 choice between cricket and AFL his whole life until he was just over 18 and he decided to stick with cricket. IF he was a genuinely good AFL player, he would have stuck with it and no cricket followers would have been aware of him.

    George Horlin Smith, Brett Deledio, Bernie Vince are just a few names of AFL players who were extremely good cricket juniors who may have gone on to represent Australia in Cricket

  • James on August 16, 2014, 11:13 GMT

    @@nd_Slip: I think SA has quality at the top level, not so sure about the lower rung. Icoudln't believe Behardeen's technique when i saw him bat. He jumps at the crease before the bowler bowls it and his Fc record is no better than a few guys in our Aline up.

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