Red-hot allrounder Moises Henriques displayed the middle order X-factor missing from Australia's T20 team as he produced a match-winning effort in the Sydney Sixers' Champions League opener.
Henriques blasted an unbeaten 49 off 23 balls as Sydney scored 5-185 and took 3-23 to help restrict Chennai Super Kings to 9-171 in Johannesburg early on Monday (AEDT).
The big-hitting right-hander clobbered five fours and three sixes and added 75 in the last six-and-a-half overs with Steve Smith (26 off 17 balls).
With the ball, Henriques varied his medium pace well during his three overs, smashing through the Chennai middle order as they closed in on the testing target.
Henriques dismissed Subramaniam Badrinath (6 off 11) to end a 55-run stand with Suresh Raina.
The 25-year-old then tilted the match irrevocably in Sydney's favour by dismissing dangermen Raina (57 off 33) and MS Dhoni (8 off 8) in the space of three balls courtesy of great catches from Smith and Josh Hazlewood (0-25 off four).
Henriques was hailed as a star of the future after captaining and starring in the Australian under-19 team, but has only sporadically delivered on his undoubted potential.
He has played one T20 international and two one-day games for Australia, but has been well nigh unstoppable with the bat this season.
Henriques scored 78 in both one and four-day domestic fixtures against WA, 161 not out and 50 not out against Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield and 46 not out in a T20 practice match against Delhi.
Shane Watson (46 off 30), the player of the World T20 tournament, carried his hot form to South Africa, thrashing five fours and two sixes.
His innings ended when he was run out by a long distance direct hit from deep extra cover from compatriot Ben Hilfenhaus (1-26 off 3).
The big Tasmanian quick also pouched a superb catch to dismiss Sixers' captain Brad Haddin (20 off 18) off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2-32 off four).
Watson and Englishman Michael Lumb (18 off 16) survived some testing early deliveries from the all-Australian new-ball attack of Hilfenhaus and Doug Bollinger (0-39 off four) before cutting loose.
When Chennai batted, Mitchell Starc (3-31 off 4) bowled Murali Vijay (1 off 5) in the second over.
Faf Du Plessis (43 off 25) plundered the bowling of the young Sixers' pacemen before lofting a catch to Starc off Pat Cummins (1-42 off four).
Michael Hussey (16 off 19) slogged a catch to Lumb at deep midwicket off spinner Stephen O'Keefe (1 for 16 off 2).
Raina lashed some exceptional boundaries through the covers and muscular shots to the legside, but Chennai lost 5-30 starting with his dismissal.