Australia dominate day three proceedings
by Cricketarchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 9th March 2009
Phil Hughes became the youngest player in Test history to hit two centuries in a match as Australia pressed home their advantage on the third day of the second Test against South Africa at Kingsmead. It was another day of complete dominance for Australia, who needed only three balls to take South Africa's last two first innings wickets before piling on the runs.
Australia were 292 for three in their second innings at the close, an overall lead of 506. Hughes was unbeaten on 136. Hughes, at 20 years and 98 days, was 169 days younger than George Headley was when he made 114 and 112 for the West Indies against England at Georgetown in 1929/30.
The left-handed opening batsman was more circumspect than in the first innings when he reached his century with two successive sixes of left-arm spinner Paul Harris. After hurrying to his half-century in 78 balls, he needed another 169 deliveries to advance to his hundred. He was particularly watchful against Harris, who bowled a defensive line into rough outside his off stump. He spent 24 balls in the nineties before cutting a short ball from Morne Morkel to the third man boundary.
Hughes and Simon Katich (30) put on 55 for first wicket before Australian captain Ricky Ponting joined Hughes in the middle and stitched a 164-run stand for the second wicket. Ponting looked in superb form as he made 81 off 106 balls and it was a surprise when he pulled a short ball from Morkel straight to Neil McKenzie at deep midwicket.
It took Australia just three balls to take the last two South African wickets as the hosts were dismissed for 138 without adding a run to their overnight total. Peter Siddle had Dale Steyn caught behind off the second ball of the morning and trapped Makhaya Ntini leg before wicket with his next delivery. It left JP Duminy stranded on 73 not out.
South African captain Graeme Smith, who suffered a broken bone in his right hand Saturday and had to retire hurt, did not resume his innings. Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher led the South Africans onto the field for the second innings.