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January 3, 2014
Perth Scorchers 4 for 161 (Katich 75, Marsh 34*) beat Sydney Thunder 6 for 157 (Morgan 48, Floros 37*) by six wickets
The legend of Simon Katich grows. Katich was batting with a broken finger, but a batsman with such a tough reputation was not about to miss the chance of a match-winning innings against the hapless, and still winless, Sydney Thunder.
The Scorchers' captain played a vintage hand to guide his team to a six-wicket win after entering at first drop in the fourth over with only 20 on the board, and with Thunder beginning to believe they could defend their score of 6 for 157 and claim their first win in 17 matches.
The 38-year-old hit seven fours and cleared the boundary twice during his match-winning 75. He survived a close lbw shout on 27 but was flawless thereon, playing both cross-bat shots and drives off the pace bowlers to either side of the wicket, as well as sweeps off the spinners. His best stroke was a sensational lofted cover-drive for six from the offspin of Tillakaratne Dilshan.
With support from Mitchell Marsh, Katich guided the chase to within 11 runs of victory before mis-timing a low full toss straight to mid-off. Marsh then ensured the Scorchers reached their target with four balls to spare. The Thunder were luckless again, following on from their ill fortune against the Melbourne Stars.
The Thunder's batting innings started with great promise only to fall in a heap as Dilshan and Daniel Hughes departed within five balls of each other, after an electric 38-run stand. It was left to Mike Hussey and Eoin Morgan to mount yet another rescue mission. Hussey was booed to the crease by the fickle Scorchers fans and cheered on his way back to the pavilion after falling to a great catch from Craig Simmons for just 13.
Morgan, in his last game before reporting for England duties, picked up the slack for his captain. He played magnificently for 48 from 30 balls but was run-out in bizarre fashion. He dived for his crease after driving back to the bowler and Marsh's throw struck the stumps at the precise moment Morgan's bat bounced in the air despite being well over the line.
The Thunder batsmen found Brad Hogg was almost unplayable as the left-arm chinaman bowler got Kurtis Patterson through the gate and Ryan Carters around his legs with a wrong 'un to finish with 2 for 20 from four overs. Jason Floros produced a late flourish with a well-crafted 37 not out to push the total to 157.
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