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Report

Hughes sounds a warning for England

Martin Williamson reports on the second day of Middlesex County Championship match against Glamorgan at Lord's

Middlesex 174 for 1 (Hughes 100*) trail Glamorgan 505 (Wallace 128, Cosgrove 120, Powell 51, Harrison 51) by 331 runs
Scorecard
The county season has barely begun at Lord's but it's already hard to imagine how any side is going to be bowled out twice here this summer. On another warm and sunny spring day, Glamorgan extended their first innings to 505 before Middlesex cruised to 174 for 1 by the close as Phillip Hughes laid down a marker with a century on his county debut.
Yesterday was dominated by another Australian, Mark Cosgrove, but nationality is about the only thing he and Hughes have in common. Much has been written and said about Middlesex's decision to sign him on a short-term contract ahead of the Ashes, with moans that all it was doing was help him adjust to the conditions. Batting on a surface like this is unlikely to offer him much new, and it's hard to imagine he will face less threatening bowling during the rest of the summer.
He made a slightly nervous start, surviving a rasping appeal for leg-before from Garnett Kruger and then an attempt by his fellow opener Billy Godelman to run him out before he had reached double figures.
But once settled, he showed little inclination to do anything other than attack. Repeatedly given width by some far from probing bowling, he drove and glanced sweetly, but by far his most productive shot was the late cut, his rate of scoring was aided by Jamie Dalrymple's reluctance to reinforce that area until Hughes was close to his hundred.
Defence does not seem to be part of Hughes' gameplan. Anything that even hinted at being outside off stump was treated dismissively, and while there were a few slashes and misses, he didn't offer any chances. He was equally dismissive of anything on his pads, and there was plenty.
He slowed as he closed on his eight first-class hundred in 39 innings, almost reaching it with a slog-swept six, as he had done to bring up his maiden Test hundred against South Africa, but the shot didn't quite have the legs. He had to be content to bring it up with a dab-and-run to backward point in the final over of the day.
At the other end Neil Dexter, also playing his first Championship innings for Middlesex, unobtrusively contributed 43 to the second-wicket stand of 106. So far, he has impressed the locals with both bat and ball. Run-scoring continued to be easy and Glamorgan's only breakthrough came as a result of batsman error when Godleman got a leading edge and spooned a return catch to David Harrison.
Hughes' hundred grabbed the headlines and rather overshadowed the one by Mark Wallace earlier in the day, his first since the end of the 2007 season.
Wallace started more cautiously than he had played last evening, although there was one slashed six over the short Tavern-side boundary. With Robert Croft he added exactly 100 for the seventh wicket before Tim Murtagh brought one back through a gaping hole in Croft's defensive push.
Rather than signal the end, Middlesex's bowlers had to endure more punishment as Wallace and Harrison added 118 for the eighth wicket. Shaun Udal continued to ring the changes - Gareth Berg showed some hostile intent - but overall the attack lacked teeth.
As 500 approached, both batsmen started chancing their arms more. Harrison was caught after a juggle by Udal straight after reaching his fifty, and two runs later Wallace, needing one more to beat his career-best score of 128, edged an extravagant drive to slip. Dalrymple showed no mercy on his old county, leaving them out in the field for a few more minutes until Adam Shantry was athletically caught diving backwards at long-off by Alan Richardson.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa