It's official, State Central Stags are the form team of New Zealand domestic one-day cricket, as well as the first-class game.
Today's 82-run hammering of nearest rivals the Wellington Firebirds in Nelson has sent Central clear at the top of the State Shield standings, the same berth they occupy in the State Championship.
And it was the usual suspects doing the business for the winners today, with captain Mathew blasting 92 off 113 balls and opener Peter Ingram laying the foundation with 67 off 78. Both hit nine fours.
Lively contributions from Tim Weston and Brendon Diamanti of 38 and 26 respectively carried Central to 285 for eight at a flat Trafalgar Park.
English allrounder Graham Napier was the pick of the Wellington bowlers, taking three for 47 off his 10 overs, while he also provided their best moments with the bat.
However, his sparkling 50 off 42 balls -- including four sixes -- couldn't rescue a dire situation as Wellington crumbled to be dismissed for 203 in the 44th over.
Openers Matthew Bell and Simon Murdoch were in the pavilion with just three runs on the board, and the steady loss of wickets from that point meant the target was never truly threatened.
Chris Nevin scored 35 and Grant Elliott 33 but nobody could dominate against some tight bowling.
Diamanti took three for 45 off 10 overs while Mitchell McClenaghan and Doug Bracewell both snared two scalps.
New Zealand seamer Michael Mason made an encouraging return from a long injury break with one for 26 off seven tidy overs.
Not so encouraging was a first-ball duck from New Zealand opener Jamie How, whose form was disappointing in the tests against the West Indies and may count against him when the national one-day side is named tomorrow.