Queensland v New South Wales, Pura Cup, Brisbane, 1st day December 14, 2007

Captain Katich leads from the front

Cricinfo staff

New South Wales 7 for 319 (Katich 86, Hughes 53, Noffke 4-90) v Queensland

Ashley Noffke caused plenty of trouble for the Blues with 4 for 90 at the Gabba © Getty Images

The strong results of two of the season's best domestic performers continued as New South Wales reached a healthy 7 for 319 on the first day in Brisbane. Simon Katich, the competition's leading run-scorer with 824, picked up a crucial 86 that held the side together during the opening two sessions while Ashley Noffke took his season haul to 36 first-class wickets with 4 for 90 on a bowler-friendly surface.

Katich, who hit 14 fours and a six, was able to overcome a tight Queensland attack and he received some useful help from Phillip Hughes, the 19-year-old, who picked up 53 before giving Chris Hartley his fifth catch. The Blues were 4 for 124 when the pair combined for an 80-run partnership, after which Daniel Smith took advantage of the easier conditions with 42. Grant Lambert had 33 at stumps while Matthew Nicholson contributed with 23.

Noffke started the morning by removing Greg Mail for 9 and he also took care of Phil Jaques when he edged to Shane Watson at third slip on 38. Noffke returned for Dominic Thornely (15) and shortly after tea earned the vital wicket of Katich, who fell to sharp take from Hartley. Watson's recovery from injury continued as he picked up two victims while Michael Kasprowicz chipped in with the late dismissal of Smith.