Central Stags 174-9 in 20 overs (George Worker 52, Roneel Hira 3-22) lost to Auckland Aces (Mark Chapman 75*, Daniel Bell-Drummond 74) by eight wickets at Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland.
The Aces grabbed home advantage in the Elimination Final and put one over on their opponents with an eight wicket win over the Central Stags at Eden Park Outer Oval this afternoon.
George Worker and Will Young (14) sprinted out of the gate, clobbering several balls high onto the Sandringham Road bank and threatening to run away with the game right from the start.
A fired up Mitch McClenaghan took an outstanding catch in the gully to remove Dean Foxcroft, before Donovan Grobbelaar bowled Dane Cleaver first ball for a duck to reduce the Stags to 4-83.
Worker and Josh Clarkson were able to rebuild with a partnership of 42 before McClenaghan got Worker caught by Craig Cachopa for 52, then Roneel Hira grabbed Clarkson for 42.
The Aces' pressure brought two run outs as they worked their way through the tail, with wicketkeeper Glenn Phillips pulling off a direct hit from behind the stumps to remove Adam Milne.
In the chase, Daniel Bell-Drummond and Phillips hit out from the start, pushing the run rate up to over nine early. English import Bell-Drummond was the more aggressive, but it was Phillips who went first - Adam Milne, who was looking sharp and fast, bent his back to bowl him for 14.
Bell-Drummond was dropped once in the covers on 44, then again to a more difficult chance by Tom Bruce running back. Mark Chapman was punishing on anything loose, hitting huge sixes on both sides of the wicket.
Bell-Drummond eventually went in the 16th over, caught by Worker for 74 from Milne, while Chapman (75 not out) saw the job through, helping the Aces to an eight wicket win with 17 balls to spare.