Phil Hughes celebrates Australia call-up in style

Townsville, Australia: Phil Hughes capped off an Australia A tour to remember with another double-century against South Africa A, his second in the past month, as the four-day cricket match ended in a draw at Tony Ireland Stadium here Sunday.

An unbeaten knock of 243 by Hughes capped off the final day’s play with Australia A at 3-454 declared in response to South Africa A’s first innings total of 333 when the match came to an end.

It means the left-handed opener finishes the six-week tour of Australia’s north with the Bradman-like aggregate of 756 runs at an average of 108 across the four-day and 50-over formats.

His performance at Tony Ireland Stadium was a far cry from the fireworks he displayed against the South Africans in a one-day match last month, but it was another reminder to the National Selection Panel that Hughes is hungry for more.

After initially missing out on a spot in the national one-day squad for the tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa, Hughes was told by national selector Rod Marsh during the lunch-break on day three that he would be called upon to replace the injured Shane Watson.

“Today was all about Phil Hughes. The way he manipulated the field beautifully and went through the gears to make close to 250 was fantastic to see,” Callum Ferguson was quoted as saying in Cricket Australia`s (CA) official website.

“He just keeps doing what he does, and that`s making big runs. Sometimes a call-up can breed expectation and sometimes it can free a guy up."

“I think he would have taken a bit of confidence out of the last month of cricket. He`s a guy that`s in great form and I`ve got no doubt if he gets a chance in Zimbabwe, he`ll do some damage," added Ferguson.

The 25-year-old brought up his double-century off 387 balls and went past his previous best first-class score of 204 shortly after the tea break.

Ferguson also made the most of the conditions with a knock of 82, before a mix-up with his skipper ended in a run out.

Matthew Wade, playing as a specialist batsman here, joined Hughes out in the middle and the pair set about batting through the afternoon as the draw edged ever closer.

Australia A declared on 454 for three to finish the match with Hughes unbeaten on 243 before he joins the Australia ODI camp ahead of the tour of Zimbabwe.

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