Scott Styris hit 59 and took three for 15 as the Auckland Aces comfortably beat the Northern Knights by 18 runs in the HRV Cup match at Colin Maiden Park in Auckland.
Styris combined with spinner Ronnie Hira (four for 13) to reduce the Knights to 136 for nine as they attempted to chase down the Aces total of 154.
The pursuit started positively with Peter McGlashan and Tillerkaratne Dilshan putting on 43 for the first wicket but the loss of Dilshan for 26 off 19 sparked a collapse that saw them crumble to 87 for eight.
Some late hitting from Joseph Yovich (22*) and Bradley Scott (20) gave them a glimmer of hope but it was too little too late for the visitors.
Earlier, the Aces total was set up by a fine half century from Styris. His 59 runs came off only 38 balls and included five boundaries and two sixes.
Colin de Grandhomme blasted 24 off only nine deliveries and Daryl Tuffey whacked 13 from four towards the end of the innings to boost their total.
Bradley Scott was the leading wicket-taker for the Knights with three by went for 44 runs while Daniel Vettori returned a tidy two for 17, including a maiden.
The victory sees the Auckland Aces join the Central Stags and Otago Volts at the top of the table on 20 points with the Northern Knights are back in fourth on 16.