Daniel Hughes scored his second century in a week to ensure NSW claimed a comprehensive JLT One-Day Cup victory over Queensland at Drummoyne Oval on Friday night.
The win has put the Blues in second place on a tight table, with victory over Victoria in the last regular season game on Sunday at North Sydney Oval ensuring NSW a place in the finals.
The Blues are chasing a third successive domestic one-day title for the first time in 15 years.
Hughes made 122 in 137 balls with eight fours and four sixes as NSW scored 283 in 49 overs, winning by six wickets.
Queensland’s 7-282 was largely built around captain Usman Khawaja’s 138 from 139 balls with 15 fours and two sixes.
Tight Blues bowling prevented the Bulls capitalising on some dropped catches and a 218-run partnership between Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne (91 in 111 balls).
Hughes has had a remarkably consistent JLT Cup with scores of 25, 56, 105 and 68 before last night’s 122.
He is now the highest run scorer in the competition, passing fellow opener Nic Maddinson’s 370 runs.
Maddinson looked on course for a third JLT Cup century for the tournament before he was caught behind attempting to glide a short ball to third man for 86 in 89 balls with three fours and five sixes.
It ended an opening partnership of 192 in less than 33 overs between Hughes and Maddinson.
Khawaja was dropped on 39 in the covers and made the most of that miss to score his maiden ton of the season, following on from successive half-centuries.
NSW captain Peter Nevill gave Nathan Lyon first use of the ball against Khawaja, who has struggled against quality spin in the past.
The Australian off-spinner picked up the wicket of Matt Renshaw (4) in a tight 10-over spell of 1-36.
At the other end Mitchell Starc bowled with good pace and rhythm to return 1-16 off his opening five overs in just his second outing of the summer before finishing with 3-48.