Hodge rescues Aussie ~~A~~ vs South Africa ~~A~~

Published: Saturday, April 19, 2003, 22:14 [IST]
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Perth: Talented Brad Hodge saved Australia 'A' from major embarrassment with a stylish 160 on the opening day of a three-day clash against South Africa 'A' at the WACA Ground on Saturday. The right-hander hit 28 fours and a six off 181 balls in a one-man show, taking the home team to a first innings total of 251. No other Australia 'A' batsman made more than 18. In reply, the visitors were struggling with 2-20 when stumps were drawn because of bad light. The pair at the wicket, Martin van Jaarsfeld and Ashwell Prince, was yet to score. Hodge strode to the crease with his side nine for one wicket and was dropped in slips by Morne Van Wyk before reaching double figures. He departed with his team at 236 for nine. Making the most of his early escape, he registered his 18th first-class century to be the backbone of the innings. South African swing bowler Carl Langeveldt was the pick of the attack with 4-78 off 16 overs. His captain, Nicky Boje, won the toss and wisely elected to bowl first on a pitch providing some assistance for the pacemen in overcast conditions. Australia 'A' started badly with opener Chris Rogers retiring hurt after a Langeveldt delivery struck him on the arm in the third over. Opening partner Michael Hussey (four) fell just two balls later to Langeveldt, while captain Simon Katich (two) also failed. Hodge staged his rescue act after surviving a chance in slips off Quinton Friend's bowling when he had made five. Copyright AFP 2001

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