Patience was the key for ACT/NSW Country on day one of its opening Toyota Futures League match for the season, as it finished the day leading Queensland by 42 runs at Manuka Oval in Canberra.

At stumps, the opening partnership of NSW Blues’ duo Nick Larkin (86 not out) and Daniel Hughes (66 not out), had amassed 161 runs unbeaten in reply to 119 for Queensland. Blues seamer Trent Copeland (3-27) and Newcastle quick Greg West (3-29) claimed three wickets each for the hosts.

Both openers were very watchful early on in their innings, particularly Hughes, but reaped the rewards of their careful start towards the end of the day.

Larkin hit 12 boundaries and one six, while Hughes reached the rope seven times and cleared it once.

Earlier in the day, Queensland won the toss and elected to bat first on what appeared to be a hard, flat pitch.

However, the four-pronged pace attack of Copeland, West, Tom Pinson (1-29) and opening bowler Nathan McAndrew (2-33) gradually squeezed the Queensland run rate which brought about a steady flow of wickets.

ACT/NSW Country dismissed Queensland in the 41st over.

The match is important preparation for Larkin, Hughes and Copeland, as they prepare for the Blues’ first round Sheffield Shield fixture against South Australia, at the Adelaide Oval, beginning 16 October.

Play resumes tomorrow at 10.30am in Canberra. Full scorecard here: https://bit.ly/2PhNWZy.