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Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 09:56 GMT
Hodge shines as Aussies dominate
First Test, Perth, day four (stumps): Australia 258 & 528-8 dec v South Africa 296 85-2

Brad Hodge celebrates his maiden Test century
Brad Hodge is playing in only his third Test
Australia's Brad Hodge completed a sparkling double century to see South Africa set 491 to win the first Test.

And there were strikes from Shane Warne and Nathan Bracken to leave the tourists 85-2 at the end of day four.

Hodge patiently reached his maiden ton before upping the pace for his double century, Australia declaring on 528-8 with their new star 203 not out.

Bracken shared a unbeaten ninth-wicket stand of 77 with Hodge after the Aussies lost a flurry of early wickets.

With no real victory prospects, the Proteas signalled their intentions to bat out a draw but lost two early wickets before play ended 15 minutes early because of bad light.

AB de Villiers was caught by Hodge at short leg off Warne for 12, having survived for 76 minutes and needing 33 balls to get off the mark.

I think we really deserve the way we feel at the moment because we have worked so hard
Brad Hodge

Then captain Graeme Smith was trapped lbw by left arm seamer Bracken for 30, leaving Jacques Rudolph (18 not out) and Herschelle Gibbs (17 not out) to battle on.

South Africa had led by 38 on the first innings but Hodge put the match out of their reach with his maiden hundred in just his third Test appearance.

Mike Hussey (58) edged Shaun Pollock behind off only the fourth ball of the morning after Australia resumed on 310-4.

Hussey tried to run the ball down to third man but succeeded only in guiding the ball to wicket-keeper Mark Boucher.

Hodge, dropped on 13 on day three, had another scare on 98 when Pollock had a loud shout for lbw but he shrugged that off to time the ball beautifully.

The 30-year-old Victorian, playing in only his third Test, reached three figures for the first time in any form of cricket at the Waca off 198 balls by whipping Pollock through mid-wicket for his 10th four.

He needed 134 balls more to reach his double, hitting 22 boundaries and facing 332 in total before captain Ricky Ponting declared.

Hodge dominated a stand of 61 with Andrew Symonds (25), who edged to slip to give Charl Langeveldt his third wicket.

Symonds had two lucky escapes, an inside edge flying just over the stumps and a mix-up with Hodge almost resulting in a run-out.

And his 49-ball knock came to an end when Langeveldt found some extra bounce and a touch of away movement to find his inside edge, with Herschelle Gibbs doing the rest.

Adam Gilchrist fired 44 runs off 58 balls before being caught off Andre Nel while Shane Warne (5) was trapped lbw by Justin Kemp.

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17 Dec 05 |  Cricket
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