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Hughes outshines stars as NSW edge Bulls

By AAP Newswire

Australia's Ashes representatives endured wildly varying fortunes in their opening first-class outing of the summer as NSW outlasted Queensland for a five-wicket Sheffield Shield win on a challenging Gabba wicket.

The Blues collected the points but only after Daniel Hughes (66 not out) and Peter Nevill (31 no) halted a top-order collapse, eventually reaching a modest victory target of 134 after coming together at 5-53.

No one had a more varied match than David Warner with the Test opener unable to back up his first innings century as he was sensationally caught at slip off the first ball of the innings.

Steve Smith looked in fine touch before he was caught behind for 21, having made a rare duck in the first innings.

It was a first Shield outing for both Warner and Smith in almost two years, following on from their much-publicised ball tampering bans.

Uncapped Ashes squad member Michael Neser (3-42) briefly had Queensland harbouring hopes of unlikely win, taking three top-order scalps, including that of Warner and Smith.

But Test paceman Mitchell Starc failed to impress after his disappointing tour of England, with the left-armer managing just one wicket at a cost of 129 runs.

"He (Starc) bowled a couple of really quick spells, so for him I imagine it is just a matter of getting that rhythm back," said NSW captain Nevill.

"He will be better for the run and I thought he bowled really well in spells during this match."

Instead Harry Conway, the Blues' most inexperienced bowler, took the honours with stunning match figures of 10-56 from 30.5 overs.

Test regular Usman Khawaja was unable to continue his strong recent one-day cup form for Queensland, posting scores of 1 and 24.

Marnus Labuschagne underlined his recent form with a pair of half centuries - the only batsman in the match to twice pass the milestone.

Labuschagne was Queensland's last hope of setting NSW a decent target but was dismissed early on day four by Starc for 52, with the Bulls eventually reaching 268 after resuming at 5-168.

"Knowing my game and the process of batting (has helped)," Labuschagne said, when asked about his new found consistency.

"I played a lot in England and learnt a lot."

In contrast, Warner's first-ball dismissal was reminiscent of his regular failings against the new ball during the Ashes tour.

But Labuschagne said Warner's capabilities were on display during the first innings.

"For me there was no real doubt about (the quality of) Dave (Warner)," he said.

"He batted really well, he showed that aggression but also discipline in leaving the ball."

Test fast bowlers Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are expected to remain on the sidelines for NSW's match against Tasmania next weekend, with Australian selectors mindful of a busy international schedule.