Some big names were missing but it did not stop the Brisbane Heat seeing stars after they were bludgeoned by Hobart Hurricanes pair Travis Birt and Owais Shah in the Big Bash League.
Hobart skipper George Bailey joked that a "dodgy burger" consumed at the Australian Open golf in Sydney last week was why ex-Test captain Ricky Ponting pulled out of their opening BBL clash with a stomach bug.
However, the Hurricanes still dined out at the Gabba as Birt (57 not out off 40 balls) and Shah (36 not out off 23) picked up where they left off from last year's tournament to ensure Hobart an eight-wicket victory.
Their 95-run unbeaten stand off 52 balls guided Hobart to 2-175 in reply to Brisbane's 6-172, which was inspired by Dan Christian (49) and Joe Burns (44) while Hurricanes medium-pacer Evan Gulbis took 3-29.
Birt - the BBL's leading run-scorer (345 runs) - and Shah scored almost half of Hobart's runs last season (627 out of 1264).
And they were at it again on Sunday night, coming together at 2-80 in the 10th over before launching their rescue mission.
Ponting's withdrawal added to a growing list of no shows.
The Heat scratched young quick Alister McDermott (ankle) before the match.
Brisbane were already without world No.1 bowler Dale Steyn after his South African province Cape Cobras surprisingly pulled him.
And the Heat will be without New Zealand allrounder Dan Vettori (achilles) for the entire BBL campaign.
Birt and Shah emerged as the stars but didn't have it all their own way.
The Heat thought they had Birt caught behind off Sri Lankan import Thisara Perera on 40 but it was unclear whether the ball carried to diving wicketkeeper Chris Hartley.
Is cricket still NZ's top summer sport?Related story: Rain can't save Black Caps from big defeat