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HomeNewsCricket 2023: Daniel Hughes makes all-time Australian domestic history, NSW Blues disaster

Cricket 2023: Daniel Hughes makes all-time Australian domestic history, NSW Blues disaster

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NSW Blues opener Daniel Hughes has written his name among the biggest names in Australian domestic history after hitting his fourth century of the season.

The Blues’ season has gone from bad to worse this year, as the state had won just one match — a Marsh Cup fixture against Tasmania in November — to sit dead last in both the Marsh One Day Cup and Sheffield Shield competitions before Thursday’s match.

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But the one bright spot has been Daniel Hughes’ incredible season in 50-over cricket.

Hughes tallied his fourth century in six matches this season, hitting 126 off 130 balls.

NSW hit 291 at North Sydney Oval on Thursday, claiming its second win of the season in a 102 run win over Tasmania, ending the Tigers’ season.

It sees NSW rise to fourth on the ladder but the side can’t make the final as Victoria and South Australia play off on the final regular season day for the right to play the undefeated Western Australia.

The result makes him the third player in Australian one-day domestic history to score four hundreds in a season after Phil Jacques achieved it in 2005/6 and Brad Hodge in 2009/10.

Remarkably, they played 10 and 11 matches respectively during those campaigns.

And Hughes could still break the record with another hundred in the state’s final one day match of the season against Queensland on Sunday February 26.

Hughes also joined some of the biggest names Australian domestic cricket has produced by tallying his 10th century.

In history, only Brad Hodge (20 in 139 matches), Michael Klinger (12 in 129 matches), Callum Ferguson (11 in 114 matches), Shaun Marsh (10 in 91 matches), Matthew Elliott (10 in 103 matches) and Jimmy Maher (10 in 112 matches) had previously reached double figures of centuries.

And on his 34th birthday — and in his 37th one-day domestic match — Hughes joined the elite group.

He is also the first Blues player to reach the milestone, with the next best a tie for the likes of David Warner, Steve Waugh, Nic Maddison, Phil Jaques and Brad Haddin on five.

Hughes also now is the second player to average over 60 in one-day domestic cricket, joining Michael Bevan (61.18) with his remarkable average of 60.74.

Hughes’ 526 runs at an average of 87.67 for the season so far is also the thirteenth highest tally in a one-day domestic season. If he can hit another hundred in the last match of the season, he will be second on the all-time list, whereas if he can hit 158, which would be a personal record, he would become the highest run scorer in a one-day domestic season in history, a record which has been held for 17 years by Jacques.

Another incredible statistic to show how good Hughes has been is how bad the Blues have been.

Outside of Hughes’ heroics, two half centuries from Kurtis Patterson have been the only other milestones in what has been the bleakest of seasons.

Former South Australian cricketer and one-Test wonder Chadd Sayers tweeted: “Daniel Hughes is a freak.”

Sports reporter Nick Creely wrote: “Daniel Hughes doing Daniel Hughes things again in the #MarshCup for New South Wales, hitting his 10th List A century in 37 career innings today. Ridiculous numbers.”

CODE Sports’ Daniel Cherny posted: “Find someone who looks at you like Daniel Hughes looks at domestic one-day runs.”

Incredibly however, Hughes has never so much as sniffed Australian colours in his career, despite former coach Jaques declaring in November he was ready.

National selectors have traditionally looked to blood young talent in the white-ball team, but Jaques believes Hughes’ nine years of experience at domestic level makes him a leading candidate.

“I think his numbers suggest that he is (ready for international cricket), 100 per cent, in one-day cricket especially,” Jaques said to at the time.

”It just depends on what the national selectors are after.

“I think batters get better as they get older. I think if (Hughes) was given an opportunity he’d do a great job, if the role was right for him.

“I wouldn’t be scared of picking someone just over 30, I don’t think that’s too old to be playing international cricket. They’re actually more equipped, more mature and know their games a little bit better.”

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