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Daniel Hughes steers NSW into strong position

Daniel Hughes sends one racing through point Getty Images

Victoria 199 and 280 (Dean 106, Maxwell 33, Copeland 5-59) lead New South Wales 171 and 2 for 150 (Hughes 59*, Larkin 45, Fawad Ahmed 2-49) by 159 runs
Scorecard

An unbeaten half-century from Daniel Hughes put New South Wales in a strong position at stumps on day three as the Blues pursued a target of 309 against Victoria at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.

The Blues made an outstanding start to the run chase with Hughes and Nick Larkin putting on 83 for the first wicket in less than 22 overs before Fawad Ahmed broke through.

He had Ed Cowan stumped to put the Blues under pressure but Kurtis Patterson and Hughes built steadily towards stumps.

Earlier, Travis Dean made his second hundred in successive matches to help the Bushrangers set a substantial target. He scored 106 from 270 balls and got good lower-order support from Peter Siddle (28) and Dan Christian (22). Trent Copeland picked up Chris Tremain to secure his 15th five-wicket haul in first-class cricket.

Victoria batsman Will Pucovski, who had been substituted out of the match with concussion, indicated he would return to action once he feels better. The 20-year old was struck on the helmet by a Sean Abbott bouncer on the second day after which he was taken off the ground for medical assistance. "It was unfortunate but that's cricket," Pucovski said in a statement. "I'm under the supervision of Cricket Victoria's medical team and we'll look at my return to play options once I have fully recovered."

NSW 4th innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st83NCR LarkinDP Hughes
2nd6EJM CowanDP Hughes
3rd68KR PattersonDP Hughes
4th23MC HenriquesKR Patterson
5th19MC HenriquesP Uppal
6th42PM NevillMC Henriques
7th33SNJ O'KeefePM Nevill
8th6PM NevillTA Copeland
9th4PM NevillSA Abbott
10th1PM NevillHNA Conway