A century from English import Ravi Bopara set up a 20 runs win for the Auckland Aces over the Central Stags at Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North.
It was a slow start for the Aces who lost their first three wickets inside ten overs but it didn’t deter number four batsmen Bopara, who was out of the penultimate ball for 102.
Andrew de Boorder made classy 55 with Daryl Tuffey lashing 34 from 28 to close out the innings.
Current overall MVP leaders Ewen Thompson and Michael Mason were on song again today taking two for 28 and three for 48 respectively.
Auckland strike bowler Michael Bates ripped through the Central top order, having them 11 for three off only 4.4 overs.
Captain Jamie How and Mathew Sinclair then went about steadying the ship with a 87 run partnership before Sinclair was out for 31.
How carried on but wickets kept tumbling at the other end and was eventually out for 94. Some late runs from Bevin Griggs (26), Kieran Noema-Barnett (18) and Thompson (17) got them close but it proved to be too little too late.
Bates came back into the attack to take the final wicket after knocking off the top order to finish with four for 27.