Hughes and Davies hundreds give NSW chance to push for victory


New South Wales 465 for 8 (Davies 116, Hughes 114, Gilkes 54) lead South Australia 287 by 178 runs

Daniel Hughes and Oliver Davies struck fighting centuries to give New South Wales a chance to secure victory in their Sheffield Shield encounter with South Australia in Sydney.

NSW went to stumps on day three with an overall lead of 178. Hughes (114 off 180 balls) and Davies (116 off 166 balls) were the standout performers on Sunday.

Given NSW entered the penultimate round in fourth spot, they will fight tooth and nail to secure an outright win on Monday in order to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Shield final.

“I think we’ll look to bat on a little bit in the morning, and try to get that lead upwards of 220ish,” Davies said. “I think it’s a 104-over day tomorrow, so [we will try to] give ourselves 90 to 96 overs to try to rock and roll them.”

Hughes started Sunday on 71, and brought up his ninth first-class century during the morning session before his knock was brought undone by a sharp diving catch by Jake Lehmann.

When NSW slipped to 213 for 4, the Redbacks had a chance to get themselves back into the contest. But the door was slammed firmly shut as Davies, Moises Henriques and Jack Edwards all dug in.

Chris Green and Ryan Hadley made it to stumps, and will look to pile on some quick runs on Monday.

Nathan McAndrew was the pick of the Redbacks bowlers with 3 for 63 to lift his season tally to 40 wickets, while Ben Manenti snared 2 for 114.

“It was a tough day,” Manenti said.  “I thought we toiled pretty hard all day. Credit to Hughesy and Ollie, they batted well and got nice hundreds, and were chanceless. The wicket flattened out, so I think it will be a good wicket to bat on tomorrow.”

For 23-year-old Davies, it was his second Shield century of the summer.

“To not be picked at the start of the season to scoring my second century, it’s a very good feeling,” Davies said.  “Hopefully I can keep carrying this on.

“I felt really good out there. I waited for bad balls, and thought I batted very well. I thought I was a lot more patient than I am in most other innings.”

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