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Hodge cements Australia credentials

March 19, 2007
Being an Australia cricketer demands a lofty standard. And despite scoring a staggering 14,735 runs in his first-class career, the 32-year-old Brad Hodge is still fighting for his place in the team's first eleven.

On Sunday pressed his claims for a permanent place with a maiden one-day international century against the modest Netherlands' bowling in their World Cup Group A match.

Batting at number five, in place of the injured Andrew Symonds, he scored 123 to help Australia score 358 for five. The World champions then dismissed the Dutch for 129, and scored an emphatic 229-run victory in their second match of the tournament.

Hodge added 204 with Michael Clarke (93 not out) in a World Cup record fourth-wicket partnership.

He reached his century from 82 balls, finally passing three figures after scoring 99 not out and 97 not out against New Zealand this year.

When he was bowled by Peter Borren he had hit eight fours and seven sixes.

Clarke, who hit a six on to the pavilion roof in the final over, struck six fours and three sixes from 85 balls.

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