The State Northern Knights were set 172 to win after putting the State Central Stags into bat fell just short in a thrilling Twenty20 match at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
The Central total was largely thanks to a well crafted 52 off 41 by captain Mathew Sinclair. Sinclair hit four boundaries and on massive six.
A number of the other Central batsmen got starts with wicketkeeper batsman Marc Calkin hitting 26 off 18, all-rounder Kieran Noema-Barnett 17 off 8 and Tim Weston 34 off 27.
Knights quick Joseph Yovich proved once again that he has a golden arm taking three for 34.
The Stags bowled accurately to the top order, who struggled to get the ball away, but were wayward towards the end as the Knights very nearly got across the line.
Stand in Knights skipper Peter McGlashan did his best to keep his team in the hunt with some creative batting but his dismissal for 47 off 27 proved costly.
Bowling star Yovich came in and hit a stunning 33 off 16 including a six of the penultimate ball leaving five required to win off the last but could only manage two.
Ewen Thompson was tidy for the Stags and picked up two late wickets to finish with four for 31 but it was left arm pace man Mitchell McClenaghan who was the pick of the attack taking two for 22.
All-rounders Yovich and Thompson are now first and second respectively in the State Twenty20 MVP rankings.
It was the first win for the defending champions with the Knights yet to record a win after four rounds.