Central Stags 208-7 in 20 overs (Dean Foxcroft 56, Tom Bruce 47, Will Young 43) beat Otago Volts 154-8 in 20 overs (Ben Wheeler 4-26, Blair Tickner 2-21, Brad Wilson 32*) by 54 runs at McLean Park, Napier.
The Central Stags put on a batting masterclass for their fans, taking full advantage of McLean Park's tight side boundaries and a dream surface to rattle up 208-7. They were then able to put the Volts under scoreboard pressure with accurate swing bowling, committed fielding and several early wickets to make a winning return to the ground, and leapfrog the Volts into third place on run rate.
Openers George Worker (18) and Will Young were harsh on any width early, racing away until Jacob Duffy nicked Worker out caught behind and Young, who was timing the ball well, holed out for 43 from 28 balls.
That was the signal for Dean Foxcroft (56) and Tom Bruce (47) to really climb into the attack. The Volts bowlers struggled under the small margins of error available until Ben Raine bowled Foxcroft for 56, when trying to put him over the grandstand.
Josh Clarkson swaggered out to go 4-4-6-6, racing to 27 from just seven balls before being caught on the boundary, as part of a quality finish from the Volts. They took four wickets in five balls in the 19th and 20th overs to stop the Stags going even larger.
Shawn Hicks did his best to get the Volts underway fast, but he went to a stunning Willem Ludick catch in the gully for 20, before Anaru Kitchen went next ball to give Ben Wheeler two early wickets.
Nathan Smith (1), then Hamish Rutherford (18) followed and suddenly the run rate required was up over 13 an over.
The Stags held (almost) all their catches as the Volts were forced to chase the game, and the visitors slumped to 63-6 in the 11th over. From there Michael Rippon (28) and Brad Wilson (top scorer with 32), were able to form a late partnership, but due to the rocky start to their innings, they were never in serious danger of chasing the Stags' big total down.