The diminutive left-hander, batting at number three in the opening Test of the three-match series rather than his usual opening spot, fell with a fourth Test hundred beckoning.
In his first Test outing since playing New Zealand in December 2011, he was bowled by Chanaka Welegedara in the 59th over with a delivery that speared through a gap between bat and pad and crashed into his off-stump.
Hughes showed more patience and greater shot selection at his latest and third Test recall in the wake of Ricky Ponting's retirement, batting for 221 minutes and hitting eight fours and an unorthodox slog-sweep six.
It was a reward for seamer Welegedara, who had the agony of having Hughes caught behind for 77, only for the wicket to be rubbed out for an overstepping no-ball.
It was Welegedara's third wicket of the innings after taking the scalps of Ed Cowan (4) and Shane Watson (30).
Ed Cowan, dropped before he had scored, was out to a poor shot in the sixth over when he attempted to pull Welegedara, only to hand an easy catch to Shaminda Eranga at mid-on for four.
It was the first Test for Australia since Ricky Ponting's retirement after a record-equalling 168 Tests. The former skipper was given a lap of honour around Bellerive Oval during the luncheon interval to give his home Tasmanian crowd an opportunity to pay tribute to his career.