Three centuries, a high-scoring match, a remarkably successful chase and New Zealand record-shattering partnership meant the Otago Volts and HELL Wellington Firebirds had a humdinger of a start to their respective Ford Trophy campaigns.
The pity was that one team had to lose after a high-adrenaline performance from both sides, but ultimately it was the Firebirds who slapped each other on the back for chasing down 350 while the Volts sat in the sheds in disbelief that their 349/7, after being inserted at the Hawkins Basin Reserve in brilliant conditions, had not been enough.
The Volts had started strongly, Sam Wells (36) and Aaron Redmond muscling to a 70-run opening stand before the in-form Redmond motored on to his third Ford Trophy century, his114 achieved off just 84 deliveries. Roll in 77 from skipper Derek de Boorder, an intimidating total of 349/7 and, in the Firebirds' reply, the early loss of Jesse Ryder and pundits would surely have favoured a Volts victory.
Even if the steely run-clerk Michael Papps had intended to celebrate his 100th Ford Trophy appearance in style, surely even he would not have been so bold as to predict he and Stephen Murdoch would then save the day by pouring on an epic partnership for the second wicket of 273 runs: a New Zealand domestic one-day record for any wicket.
Both Papps and Murdoch blitzed their way to their highest Ford Trophy scores, an unbeaten 162 off 138 for Papps and 136 off 124 for Murdoch before teenage quick Jacob Duffy finally broke through the wall of their partnership.
Even after the relatively quick loss of BLACKCAPS Grant Elliott and James Frankin there was no stopping the Firebirds from there as they hunted down their 350-run target with eight balls to spare to complete a memorable six-wicket victory.