The Wellington Firebirds re-opened the door to the Ford Trophy at Seddon Park in Hamilton, beating the table-topping Northern Knights by three wickets.
Daniel Flynn (122no) played almost a solo hand for the Knights, who posted 215 for eight from their 50 overs. Keeping wickets in hand was key in the Firebirds chase and they managed to hold on to surpass the Knights total after 47.2 overs.
Holding on to wickets was something the Knights failed to do, with all of the top six, aside from Flynn, failing to make double digits. The captain however showed brilliant resilience and eventually found a partner in Scott Kuggeleijn.
The pair posted 61 for the sixth wicket, before Kuggeleijn holed out in the 41st over for 39. He had however given Flynn time to bring up his fifth List A ton and give the hosts something to bowl at.
Luke Woodcock was incredibly tight with the ball for the Firebirds, bowling out his ten overs for 17 runs and taking three wickets in the process.
The visitors chase though couldn’t have got off to a worst start, losing Stephen Murdoch second ball of the innings. The Firebirds quickly recovered through, with a string of partnerships edging them close to the target.
The largest stand came for the fourth wicket between James Franklin and Michael Pollard, who put on 73. Franklin fell just one short of his half-century, while Pollard went for 53, leaving his side just 35 short of victory.
Two further wickets fell, but no miracles prevented the Firebirds from victory, who now remain in the thick of the race for the title. The Knights on the other hand are now level with the Wizards at the top and will be desperate to get back on track in the next round on Sunday.