HUGHES’ DOUBLE TON CONDEMNS SOUTH AFRICA A TEAM TO A HEAVY DEFEAT
By: Bhekumndeni Kunene
Phil Hughes scored a record double hundred to give Australia A a 148-run victory over South Africa A in Darwin on Tuesday. He blasted his way to an unbeaten 202 off only 151 balls to propel the Ausies to 349 for four in their allotted 50 overs.
South Africa A captain, Justin Ontong won the toss and elected to field first and it turned out to be a good toss to lose for his opposite number, Cameron White. Both openers made a steady start, putting on 37 runs for the first wicket before White was caught by Reeza Hendricks off the bowling of left-arm seamer, Mthokozisi Shezi. The loss of White did not bother the diminutive left-hander as he went on to make the highest List A score by an Australian, beating the previous record of 197 by David Warner.
The Baggy Greens also lost Callum Ferguson for a two-ball duck- he was followed quickly to the hut by former Netherlands all-rounder Tom Cooper. Hughes then combined with Moises Henriques to put on 220 runs for the fourth wicket and that turned out to be the turning point of the match. Henriques was finally caught by Shezi off Beuran Hendricks for 90. The South African bowlers did not vindicate Ontong’s decision to bowl first as they were smashed all over the stadium. Hendricks finished with miserable figures of one for 78 off his 10.
The Proteas reply got to the worst possible start when Reeza Hendricks was out in the second over of the innings for one run. Rillee Rossouw and Heino Kuhn put on 59 for the second wicket before they departed in quick succession. This seemed to trigger a collapse as most of their batsmen crumbled under pressure chasing the big score. Farhaan Behardien made a run a ball-67 but all in a losing cause.
“The wicket played really well and they batted really well. We lost the key moments in the game and played well in patches which is not good,” said a distraught Cody Chetty.
The Proteas next take on India A in Darwin on Thursday