Dighton and Ponting slay Blues
Tasmania 1 for 266 (Dighton 146*, Ponting 111*) beat New South Wales 264 (Haddin 74, Katich 56, Geeves 3-47) by 9 wickets
Twin tons for Michael Dighton and Ricky Ponting drove Tasmania to an emphatic nine-wicket victory against New South Wales, as they chased down their target of 265 with 25 balls to spare. The pair added an unbroken 263 following Travis Birt's dismissal for 1, edging Nathan Bracken's first ball, to continue a miserable FR Cup campaign for the Blues.
Dighton and Ponting rained down fours and sixes against a sorry Blues attack which had no answers to their venom. It was a polished display of batting, with boundaries to all places, but particularly square of the wicket.
Doug Bollinger may have been their midweek destroyer in the first-class game, but today he got a taste of his own medicine, as he went wicketless from eight overs. Dighton, in particular, punished him, with two fours from one over, a six in another and then a whopper of a four and three sixes. The Tasmanian pair were in control from the off, never offering a false stroke, and they took their side home with ease.
Simon Katich and Brad Haddin gave them a target to think about, each making fifties after choosing to bat at the North Sydney Oval. But having been well set at 5 for 204, the tail-end of their innings subsided. Brett Geeves was the most successful of a polished bowling unit, with 3 for 47, and there were two each for Ben Hilfenhaus and Brendan Drew.
Their job done, they could then put their feet up and enjoy a masterclass of powerful hitting from their team-mates who truly delivered. With the Chappell-Hadlee one-dayers looming, Ponting will be particularly pleased with his workout.