Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins took three wickets apiece but NSW will lose five players to the IPL
New South Wales 2 for 204 (Hughes 101, Smith 86*) beat Queensland 203 (Peirson 59, Cummins 3-34, Starc 3-46) by eight wickets
New South Wales secured the hosting rights for the Marsh Cup final with a thumping eight-wicket victory over Queensland in Sydney as Daniel Hughes, one of only seven players across the two sides without an international cap, emerged from a lean season with 101.
Nine of those with Australia representation to their name were in the home side which fielded the Test attack. They featured the group due to depart tomorrow for the IPL, including Steven Smith who finished unbeaten on 86, meaning they won’t be available the title showdown on April 11.
Queensland now need to wait on the result of the Western Australia-Tasmania match next Thursday to see whether they can cling onto a place in the final.
Pat Cummins, the New South Wales one-day captain, and Mitchell Starc took three wickets apiece as Queensland were never able to lay a foundation. From 6 for 104 it needed a half-century from Jimmy Peirson and a useful hand by Michael Neser (31) to lift them over 200.
Although David Warner fell early it was always unlikely to challenge New South Wales once the second-wicket stand started to develop. Hughes and Smith, playing his first game since mid-February after an elbow injury, largely did as they pleased although Billy Stanlake created a few uneasy moments.
Hughes, who has a List A average of over 56 brought up his century with a crunching drive for a 13th boundary although top-edged to fine leg two balls later to end a stand of 174 with Smith. It was the first time he had passed fifty for New South Wales this season.
Smith finished with four sixes and a series of powerful strokes to suggest the elbow was not causing too many issues. The last of them was a blow over midwicket that almost ended up on the roof.
After Queensland had opted to bat, Starc struck in his second over to have Max Bryant caught behind. Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne went along at a good tempo to suggest it could be a high-scoring contest, but Khawaja dragged on when he was cramped for room by Cummins who then removed Matt Renshaw for a duck.
The innings was coming off the rails when Nathan Lyon held a fierce return catch to remove Labuschagne the ball after he had sent him for six.
Peirson and Joe Burns briefly steadied things for Queensland but Josh Hazlewood returned to trap the latter lbw. Starc then also struck in his comeback over when he had debutant James Bazley well caught at deep square leg by Warner leaving the visitors six down with more than half the overs remaining.
Peirson and Neser added 57 in 13 overs, the stand broken when Lyon gabbed a sharp chance at midwicket. The one non-Test player in the attack, Daniel Sams, then got among the wickets as Xavier Bartlett missed a wild swing and a fine catch at deep midwicket ended Peirson’s rearguard.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo