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.