Former Test gloveman Tim Paine has cracked the highest score of his tough comeback from injury to steer the Hobart Hurricanes to a six-wicket Big Bash League win over the Perth Scorchers at Bellerive.
Paine finally returned to his best with 74 from 57 balls as the Hurricanes chased down Perth's 8-152 with nine balls to spare.
The 28-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, who was the heir apparent to ex-Australian gloveman Brad Haddin, has endured no fewer than six operations on the finger he broke in an exhibition Twenty20 match more than two years ago.
He put on 90 from 60 balls with Ricky Ponting (34 from 26) to lead the Hurricanes to their third straight win and third place on the BBL ladder.
The Scorchers' three-game winning streak is over with their season now 3-3.
Injuries could add to their woes with in-form batsman Shaun Marsh (6 from 11) unable to field after he was struck on the thumb by Hurricanes paceman Doug Bollinger (1-27).
And in a bizarre incident, Scorchers paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile (0-41) fell clutching an ankle halfway through his run-up before completing his spell.
The home side were 1-15 when opener Aiden Blizzard was caught for 12 from seven balls to bring Paine and Ponting together.
Their stand put the Hurricanes in the box seat before veteran spinner Brad Hogg (3-17) found himself on a hat-trick in the 12th over as he reduced the Hurricanes to 3-105.
But Paine and captain George Bailey (19 from 11) steadied to steer the home side to victory.
Earlier, veteran Perth skipper Simon Katich had blasted the equal-second fastest fifty of the BBL season.
The 37-year-old reached 52 off just 28 balls with a monstrous six off Bollinger, joining the Melbourne Renegades' Aaron Finch behind Brisbane's Chris Lynn, who reached 50 from 27 balls against Perth.
Katich finished with 66 from 41 balls with five fours and four sixes.
The Scorchers had been 2-10 before the former Test opener combined with Marcus North (27 from 33) to put on 69 from 52 balls.
"(Twenty20) frees you up a little bit and I was probably suffering from a lack of confidence at the start of the year so it's nice to be back on track a little bit," Paine said.
Katich said his side had been caught out early in both innings.
"We were slow to start the game, probably our first three or four overs with the bat and then the same with the ball so you can't afford to in this form of the game," he said.
"You're always playing catch-up and that's what happened to us tonight."