Ponting leads Hurricanes to win over Sixers
Ricky Ponting's unbeaten 63 helped his Hobart Hurricanes to a seven wicket win over the Sydney Sixers on Boxing Day.PT2M0S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2bwzw 620 349 December 27, 2012
A VINTAGE batting display by Ricky Ponting crippled Sydney Sixers' bowlers and all but ended their hopes of a successive Big Bash League title after losing to Hobart Hurricanes at the SCG on Wednesday night.
The Sixers struggled to find the rhythm that had helped them win the Champions League just two months ago and crashed to their fourth consecutive defeat.
They had few answers for a rampant Ponting who top-scored with 63, his second consecutive half-century, as the Hurricanes hit the winning runs on the second-last ball to win by seven wickets after needing nine to win in the final over bowled by Moises Henriques.
Just like old times … Ricky Ponting last night. Photo: Getty Images
The former Australian captain, who did not appear in a Boxing Day Test for the first time since 1998, walked out to a standing ovation and treated the crowd to a trademark pull shot for six to get off the mark and passed 50 in the same way.
Sydney made three changes to their last start losing side, including debutants Kurtis Patterson and Daniel Hughes and were boosted by the return of England international Michael Lumb.
After a solid start, the Sixers middle order again failed to fire, losing 5-18 in the later stages of their innings in front of 11,005 fans before making a competitive 8-154.
Lumb and skipper Brad Haddin were reunited at the top of the batting order moving to 57 before Haddin was bowled backing away from a Michael Hogan ball for 22.
After a slow start where Haddin contributed 21 of the team's first 29 runs, Lumb soon found his groove moving to 31 before an ill-fated reverse sweep off Xavier Doherty had him joining Haddin just six balls later.
Henriques and Steve Smith added 29 before Henriques scooped a catch to George Bailey on 18.
The Sixers waited for debutant Hughes to hit back-to-back sixes to clear the boundary for the first time in the 16th over.
Hughes lasted just one more ball before being stumped by Tim Paine in Doherty's final over for 17 with the match evenly positioned before ex-international Ben Laughlin's destructive third over.
The crafty quick, who played the last of his five one-day internationals in 2009, wreaked havoc taking three wickets in five balls to rocket to the top of the leading wicket tally with 10 and finish with 4-31.
He moved on paceman Brett Lee, who scored just four in a pinch-hitting role before Laughlin claimed the prize scalp of the in-form Smith, who made 34 from as many balls.
While NSW captain Stephen O'Keefe survived the hat-trick ball, Laughlin didn't have to wait long for his next scalp, taking Patterson's wicket after the rookie had hit him for four, surviving a dropped Doug Bollinger catch in the process. A late flurry from O'Keefe inched the Sixers to 147 before he fell to Ponting in the deep.