Hard-hitting Hughes sends message to selectors

A SECOND consecutive ton in the Marsh One Day Cup has seen Daniel Hughes become one of the form batsmen in Australian Cricket, posting 101 in New South Wales’ 160-run triumph over the Tasmanian Tigers in Hobart on Thursday.

It was Hughes’ third century of the competition, after delivering 117 against the Vics in the opening game and then producing season-high figures of 139 against the South Australia Redbacks a couple of weeks prior to the Blues’ outing against Tasmania.

Hughes’ red-hot form has seen his name thrown in the ring for selection with the Australian national team, which is currently in search of stability in its opening partnership. His Sheffield Shield and Marsh Cup form have been undeniable, so selectors may be looking his way.

Hughes was extremely influential in the Blues claiming such a significant win, with New South Wales’ posting an impressive total of 300, and when spinner Chris Green went to work with the ball, it was too much for the Tigers.

Tasmanian Tigers (140) def. by NSW Blues (8/300)

Daniel Hughes – 101 (114)

Hughes and fellow opener Kurtis Patterson formed an extremely damaging opening partnership, combining for over 200 runs before Patterson fell eight runs shy of a ton. However, his counterpart kept rolling, and made his way to 100 with a strike rate of 88.6, impressive considering how long he was able to maintain it for.

It was a slow outfield, but the left-hander was still able to time his shots well enough to get some pace behind his shots, producing 10 boundaries for the match, all along the deck. Although some could have gone for six, his lofted heaves fell slightly short of a maximum score.

Doing impressive work on both the front and back foot, the 33-year-old delivered an array of shots, adapting to the ball placement from the bowler and the field he was faced with. Whether it was Peter Siddle, Nathan Ellis or Riley Meredith, Hughes did as he pleased with the Tassie quicks. He used the pace of their deliveries to simply guide the ball over the rope.

He brought up his half-century with a nice flick down leg side, as he and Patterson’s partnership edged closer to triple figures. After the latter was dismissed on 92, Hughes remained composed in the ‘nervous nineties’ before playing a cut shot off the back foot to bring up another ton, although he must be sick of taking off and putting back on his helmet after this many big scores.

Hughes has shown over the last few months an ability to reach big numbers at the crease at a consistent level, and the Blues have often reaped the rewards of his strong play, making life a bit tougher for those at the Australian selection committee.

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