Steady Hughes drives NSW to easy win
New South Wales 3 for 184 (Hughes 72*, Jaques 50) beat Western Australia 179 (Robinson 78, Cockley 4-39) by 7 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Phil Jaques made an encouraging comeback from injury and Phillip Hughes posted a calm half-century as New South Wales swept aside Western Australia at North Sydney Oval. The Blues carried a formidable batting line-up - Simon Katich wasn't needed - and the seven-wicket win earned a bonus point while showing there was no immediate hangover from the Champions League Twenty20 success.
Chasing Western Australia's disappointing 179, the hosts lost David Warner to a slice behind point off Ashley Noffke before Jaques and Hughes gained control. Jaques, batting at No. 3, collected 50 from 51 balls in a fine state return from three back operations, displaying his range with boundaries on both sides of the wicket.
Noffke (2 for 34) bowled Jaques in the over he brought up his fifty, but it was a brief comeback as Brad Haddin breezed to 27 in his first game since finger surgery, which also included three catches. Haddin was yorked by Michael Hogan before Steven Smith (29) stayed with Hughes until the finish.
Hughes took his time at the start of the innings until finding his groove, bringing up his half-century from 89 deliveries. He pulled Brett Dorey for six, struck seven boundaries in his unbeaten 72 and grew in confidence as the innings wore on.
It was the Blues' inexperienced bowlers who were responsible for such a low target on what was supposed to be an excellent pitch for batting. Burt Cockley, playing his fourth one-day game, led the side with 4 for 39 while the debutant Mitch Starc and Smith, the legspinner, grabbed two wickets each. Smith had the opener Luke Towers cutting to Hughes at slip in the seventh over and Starc bowled the dangerman Marcus North (17) in a dismissal that basically ended the Warriors' chances of a big score.
Wes Robinson steered the early stages of the chase - he pulled Smith on to the roof of a stand - but once he went for 78 the visitors flopped from 4 for 136 to allout in 44.1 overs. Cockely, who had dismissed Luke Ronchi, also removed Robinson to a catch to Haddin and turned up at the end to complete his collection.