The Hobart Hurricanes have leaped into third place on the Big Bash League ladder following a convincing six-wicket win over Perth Scorchers on Tuesday night.
The Hurricanes could not have started 2013 in better fashion, first restricting Perth to 8-152 from their 20 overs before chasing down the runs with nine balls to spare.
Tim Paine (74) and Ricky Ponting (34) were particularly impressive in the Hurricanes' chase after Simon Katich (66) had turned back the clock in blistering fashion in front of 12,110 spectators at Blundstone Arena.
Brad Hogg (3-17) did his best to derail the Hobart chase, bamboozling the home batsmen and momentarily threatening to get his side across the line as the Hurricanes tightened up late on.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, veteran left-hander Katich did his best to propel the Scorchers towards a defendable target, swatting five boundaries and four sixes in his 41-ball innings.
Katich lobbed Doug Bollinger (1-28) over deep midwicket for two sixes from consecutive balls to bring up his half-century from 28 deliveries and give Perth a defendable target.
Bollinger had recovered from a first-ball Shaun Marsh four to bowl a tight opening spell and had his man in the fourth over when Marsh played on to send the Scorchers stumbling to 2-11, Herschelle Gibbs having fallen for a duck in the opening over.
Katich came in to join Marcus North (27) and the pair added 69 from just 52 balls to bring the Scorchers back into the contest.
Xavier Doherty (1-20) had opened with a rare wicket maiden, setting the scene for the home side and helping them to a tidy start that saw Perth manage just 2-36 from the power play.
But a few lusty blows from Katich and more inventive work from North and Adam Voges (35) saw them steady the ship during the middle overs before wickets tumbled in the run home.
Ben Laughlin (3-19) was clearly the pick of the Hobart bowlers, delivering his full array of slower balls and variations to good effect. He came into the match with 10 scalps in BBL|02 and given another strong showing must be in calculations for international honours later in the summer.
Paine's 57-ball innings also signalled a long-awaited return to form, the classy right-hander playing shots to all parts of the ground and being particularly savage on anything short or wide.Travis Birt again failed for the Hurricanes, but a late cameo from George Bailey (19 from 11 deliveries) saw the Hurricanes home for their third consecutive victory and secured a valuable place in the top four with two matches to play.