An explosive 72-run partnership between Steven Smith and David Warner might have sparked New South Wales' domestic campaign after they swept past the leaders Queensland in the FR Cup. The Blues, who won only one of their opening four games, were wobbling at 5 for 169 when the pair came together and took off.
Smith showed his aggressive range in top scoring with 75 from 84 balls, with seven fours, while Warner flexed with 34 off 24 before he was yorked by James Hopes. That ended the stand, which came at nine an over, and left the visitors wanting 18 from 26 deliveries. Smith was joined by Daniel Smith and the victory came with four wickets and 13 balls in hand.
The hosts had felt in control after Phil Jaques (8) and Philip Hughes (6) went in Chris Swan's impressive comeback, and even when Ben Rohrer was creeping towards 57 they had control of the contest. However, the bowlers were unable to keep up the pressure as the innings continued and the result ended a five-game winning streak. They remain on top with an eight-point buffer over Victoria, who have played two fewer matches, while New South Wales moved four points closer to the fourth-placed Tasmania.
A hobbling Nick Kruger held together Queensland's innings after they were shocked to be 3 for 26 having chosen to bat. Kruger needed a runner midway through his innings due to a hip problem suffered hitting a boundary down the ground, but he pushed through the pain to reach his first domestic half-century, finishing with 67 off 103 balls.
The partnerships he shared with Nathan Reardon (41) and Craig Philipson (49) were crucial in reviving the Bulls and some late contributions helped them to a competitive total. Stuart Clark, who felt his side eased off at the end of the innings, joined Josh Hazlewood and Moises Henriques in picking up two wickets.