A campaign that started with a bang looks to be ending with a thud for the Otago Volts who suffered another gutting result in their dead rubber with the Auckland Aces.
Still an outside chance of qualifying just two games ago, the Volts are now bottom of the table after the Auckland Aces did enough with their 103-run victory to lift their net run rate and get off the bottom floor of the table at last.
103 runs was just three runs shy of the Aces' highest ever winning T20 winning margin by runs, with their record standing at 106 - which was also against the Volts, in 2014/15 at Seddon Park.
Anaru Kitchen was playing for the Aces that day and was the most economical for the battling Volts today but with the bat the Volts had a shocker - everyone bar Nick Kelly dismissed for fewer than eight runs.
The Aces had earlier elected to bat first at home at sunny Outer Oval and posted 183 for seven, all of the top/middle order making contributions at a good clip.
With Martin Guptill out injured, replacement Will O'Donnell continued his good summer as he top-scored with a 30-ball 40 and, while the Volts were chipping out regular wickets, they weren't containing the run rate at the tricky Outer Oval.
An unbeaten 21* off 14 at the death from BLACKCAP Kyle Jamieson intensified the pressure on them as the Aces lifted nicely, finishing with nine sixes shared amongst them from the innings.
The reply was a disaster, Hamish Rutherford bowled by Jamieson (3-18) in the first over and Neil Broom caught behind for a golden off Ross ter Braak's first ball, the next delivery.
With neither hard-hitting veteran for company, the weight fell on Kelly's shoulders and he batted into the 10th over for the top score of 38 off 29.
By then the Volts were seven down and in search of miracles that never came, bundled out for 80 in just 12.3 overs.
They now have to pick themselves up off the canvas to face a full-strength Northern Knights side in Dunedin on Saturday, their last match of the Dream11 Super Smash season.
The Aces meanwhile stay put to play the top qualifiers the Wellington Firebirds on Sunday before bidding their supporters adieu.