A maiden Twenty20 century to import Brendan Taylor was not enough to earn the Wellington Firebirds victory against the Otago Volts at Queenstown today.
Fresh from scoring 53 against the Auckland Aces the Zimbabwe captain almost doubled that output by stroking a high quality 101 not out as he piloted the Firebirds to a competitive 170 for three in the HRV Cup contest at the Events Centre.
It was just the fifth century in seven seasons of the domestic Twenty20 competition but the Volts were put off their stride as they responded with a fine collective effort to post 174 for three with eight balls remaining.
The Volts surprised by promoting English allrounder Dmitri Mascarenhas to open with Aaron Redmond and the new pairing impressed as they raced to 71 in the ninth over before Mascarenhas departed for 41 off 25 balls.
Brendon McCullum upped the tempo further at first drop, hoisting four sixes in his 36 off 20, Redmond left the middle having hit 48 off 42 then Craig Cumming and Neil Broom ensured the that good work was not wasted.
Cumming finished 29 not out off 15 as all of the Firebirds bowlers, except for spinners Muttiah Muralitharan and Luke Woodcock, copped some punishment
Muralitharan completed his four overs with figures of one for 20 while Woodcock took one for 26.
Earlier, Taylor reached three figures off the very last ball of the Firebirds innings from Jimmy Neesham, which he belted to the boundary to register his eighth four to complement five sixes.
He reached the milestone off just 58 balls and shared a profitable, unbroken stand of 124 in 11.2 overs for the fourth wicket with skipper Grant Elliott, who proved an ideal foil as he scored an unbeaten 49 off 31 balls, including three sixes and the same number of fours.
Mascarenhas was the pick of the Volts attack as he gave up just 21 runs off his full allocation of four overs and took the wicket of opener Michael Pollard for good measure.
Seamer James McMillan also did a good job to take one for 29 off his four.