T20 Big Bash League - KFC

Hurricanes cruise past Scorchers

1/1/2013 22:13 PM
Xavier Doherty
What happened
A Tim Paine masterclass and more runs for Ricky Ponting saw the Hobart Hurricanes home by six wickets over the Perth Scorchers in Hobart.
 
The win sees Hobart secure a place in the top four and gives them every chance of pushing for a home semi-final with their two remaining matches both scheduled to take place at their Blundstone Arena fortress.
 
Paine finished with 74 from 57 deliveries to scoop man-of-the-match honours and help his side cruise to victory with nine balls to spare.
 
The Scorchers made a terrible start, losing both openers cheaply before Simon Katich teamed with Marcus North (27) and Adam Voges (35) for consecutive half-century partnerships to put the innings back on track.
 
Still, the visitors may feel they came up a little short on a true batting track in Hobart, only posting 8-152 from their 20 overs.
 
With Paine timing the ball superbly from the outset, the Hurricanes chased with confidence under lights and in front of another big home crowd of 12,110.
 
Paine and Ponting (34) added 90 for the second wicket, effectively taking the game away from the Scorchers before the visiting side could make any real headway.
 
Brad Hogg (3-17) did his best to bring Perth back into the game with two wickets in as many balls in the 12th over, but in Paine, the Hurricanes had an important sheet anchor to build the chase around.
 
Where it was won
The Hurricanes mightn't carry the biggest names in the BBL, but their top six is as classy as any in the competition.
 
Aidan Blizzard came out hard and slogged a couple early to get the ball rolling, but when he was dismissed the going only got tougher for Perth.
 
Paine racked up his first half-century of the campaign and combined with Ponting for a decisive 90-run second-wicket partnership from just 60 deliveries.
 
Despite losing Ponting and the out-of-form Travis Birt for a duck from consecutive deliveries, the Hurricanes had enough momentum – and class – to get the job done and move into the top four.
 
Where it was lost
The Scorchers built their last-start win over the Renegades on the back of a blistering opening stand between Herschelle Gibbs and Shaun Marsh – but they had no such luck in Hobart.
 
Gibbs lasted only three balls before meekly spooning a catch to backward point and Marsh didn't hang around long after being struck a painful blow on the thumb from Doug Bollinger's second over.
 
Katich, North and Voges did their best to pull the Scorchers back from 2-11 after four overs, but they were always chasing the game after losing early wickets.
 
Who killed it
Katich set about his work with real vigor, swinging hard from the moment he marched to the middle of Blundstone Arena.
 
The 37-year-old was in no mood to hang around, flaying five boundaries and four sixes in his 66-run knock. His half-century came up from 28 deliveries with a slog sweep over mid-wicket for six, and was followed by another massive swipe from Bollinger's next delivery.
 
In Ben Laughlin, the Hurricanes have one of the Big Bash League's premier bowlers – both in terms of wicket taking and economy rate.
 
Coming into the match with 10 scalps to his name, Laughlin added another three against the Scorchers, but also managed to put the brakes on at vital stages as Katich looked to take control. Laughlin finished with 3-19 from his four overs to be Hobart's best bowler by some margin.
 
Wow moment
While it didn't travel as far as a number of other maximums on the night, Ricky Ponting's driven six to complete the Hobart power play was arguably the shot of the match.
 
The in-form veteran hammered Nathan Coulter-Nile over cover in text-book fashion, the ball travelling like a tracer bullet and smashing into the extra-cover fence to give the packed hill a thrill.
 
The shot took the Hurricanes to 1-55 from the opening six overs and put them in the box-seat for an important home win.
 
Where to next
By winning in Hobart, the Hurricanes have secured a place in the top four… for now, at least.
 
The Scorchers will fancy their chances of another win when they host Sydney Thunder on Friday night while the Hurricanes face another crunch match when the Strikers visit Hobart on Saturday.
 
Both sides have genuine finals aspirations but need to chalk up the wins as they are locked in a three-way battle with Adelaide Strikers for two semi-final spots.