The Central Stags crashed back to earth in the HRV Cup with a 50-run loss to the Auckland Aces tonight.
Just 24 hours after a 78-run thrashing of the Northern Knights to open the tournament, defending champions the Stags collapsed in the face of some tight bowling from former international Andre Adams to be dismissed for 104 in the 17th over.
Allrounder Adams took five for 20 with his variable mediuim pacers as the visitors disintegrated in their pursuit of 154 at Colin Maiden Park, losing their last five wickets for 20 runs.
Newcomer Dusan Hakaraia was the Aces' best performer with the bat, scoring 43 off 38 balls to add some stability to a shaky start. They never fully accelerated -- with spinner Ian Blackwell's three for 30 helping apply the brakes -- although Anaru Kitchens managed to swat 21 off 13 balls.
The target appeared achievable but losing Tim Weston, Mathew Sinclair and Mike Yardy inside the first four overs rocked the Stags onto the back foot.