Vics set NSW 310 to win
Photo Source: AP
Left-handed batsmen Daniel Hughes and Nic Maddinson have kept defending champions NSW in the hunt for the domestic one-day cup cricket finals with centuries in the Blues' six-wicket win over Victoria on Sunday.
Chasing 310 for victory, the Blues reached their target at North Sydney Oval with just over three overs to spare.
The victory lifted NSW to third but they will most likely need to beat WA in their final game to make the top three, while Victoria remain second.
Opener Hughes (122 off 121 balls) notched his first one-day ton for the Blues and added 192 in just under 27 overs with man-of-the-match Maddinson (112 off 89).
NSW made a slow start scoring just 25 off their first ten overs with renowned dasher Maddinson taking 11 balls to get off the mark.
Australian T20 representative Maddinson had been in mediocre form this season, but struck 13 fours and five sixes on the small ground, while the more measured Hughes hit 15 fours and a six.
Test spinner Jon Holland (3-58), who wasn't introduced into the attack until the 34th over, removed Hughes, Maddinson and in-form Blues captain Moises Henriques, but NSW had enough depth to successfully complete their chase.
The Bushrangers paid the price for not fully exploiting an excellent platform laid by their top three.
Aaron Finch (52 off 53), who only returned from international duty in South Africa on Friday, put on 124 in 20 overs with fellow opener Cameron White (69 off 71).
Recently dropped Australian one-day representative Glenn Maxwell (67 off 41) kept the momentum going with his highest score of the season, but the Bushrangers scored less than a run a ball after he was dismissed in the 33rd over.
Maxwell belted nine fours and three sixes and looked in control until he fell lbw to a misjudged reverse sweep of medium pacer Trent Copeland.
"For my first 20 balls I felt like I was batting with a stump," said Maddinson, who scored just 66 in his four previous innings.
"I felt like I had been training well so it was only going to be so long before a good score was going to be around the corner."
Bushrangers captain Matthew Wade felt his team needed another 20 to 30 runs and didn't make the most of some good starts.
He added they failed to build on a fine opening spell from veteran paceman Peter Siddle, who conceded just eight runs from his five-over opening spell.
'We had good contributions from the top order but obviously they had two guys who got a hundred so that's probably the difference in the game," Wade said.
"There was definitely opportunities for guys to post a big hundred today, guys got in but we just got out at crucial times.
"We bowled well for periods of time, but we let them get away at times as well."