NSW batsman Daniel Hughes has been cruelly stranded on 98 in the Sheffield Shield after Doug Bollinger was run-out at the non-striker's end.
Test No.6 contender Hughes provided a not so subtle Ashes reminder on Tuesday against Queensland, surging towards triple figures before Bollinger was run out to promptly end the Blues' first innings at 271 before tea on day two.
Hughes wanted a second run to move to 99 and retain the strike but Bollinger was sensationally run out at the non-striker's end to quickly kill off the left hander's quest for a fourth first class century.
Hughes struck 17 fours in his two-and-a-half hour knock before disaster struck.
FIRMING FOR ASHES: Bancroft notches double century as Ashes rivals falter
He is repaying NSW's faith after the Blues controversially opted for the left-hander over last season's leading Shield run scorer Ed Cowan for the first class season start.
Hughes has been touted as bolter for the Ashes, with incumbent No.6 Glenn Maxwell in a battle to retain his spot with the likes of Hilton Cartwright, Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft.
Later on Tuesday, Test opener Matt Renshaw failed again, caught down the leg-side for one off Bollinger to leave the Bulls reeling.
Renshaw - who made 16 in the first innings at Allan Border Field - has made 70 Shield runs at 11.66 this summer.
Bollinger (2-0 off three overs) also trapped Joe Burns in front LBW with the first ball of the Bulls' second innings.
NSW wicketkeeper Peter Nevill also failed to push his Test prospects, dismissed for 17.