In Invercargill the top of the table Northern Knights reached 249 for 7, with Daryl Mitchell top scoring on 52. Ian Butler was the pick of the Volts’ tight bowlers, with 45 for 3 from his 10 overs.
Opener Sam Wells (81) was not supported as the Volts slumped to 207 all out. All the Knights’ bowlers contributed, with Anurag Verma (32-3), Brent Arnel (29-2) the pick.
There were fireworks at the Hawkins Basin Reserve where Kyle Mills hit Jesse Ryder for six on the last ball of the game to take the win. The Aces’ Gareth Hopkins lead the charge with a destructive 117 from 98 balls, backed up by McItosh (58) and Munro (44). With 13 to win from the final over, Jesse Ryder snared de Grandhomme before Grobbelaar and Mills steered the visitors home in dramatic fashion.
In the first innings the Firebirds’ Harry Boam was left stranded on 98 not out from 71 balls, as his team amassed 318 for 5. The Blackcaps’ Kyle Mills managed to sidestep most of the destruction around him, returning figures of 43 for 4, but his team mates did not escape so easily.
In Nelson the Canterbury Wizards posted 280 for 4 wickets in their 50 overs. Opener Brad Cachopa was caught behind from the only ball he faced, but George Worker’s patient 129 and Henry Nicholls’ 61 ensured a solid total before Andrew Ellis, who was dropped twice early on, clobbered 65 from 41 balls to make the Wizards’ total more imposing.
Impressive seamers Ryan McCone and Matt Henry ripped the heart out of the Stags’ top order with two scalps each, while Ellis popped up with the ball, grabbing two wickets to leave Central with a 6 runs an over mountain to climb. Ben Smith (49) and Tarun Nethula (49) briefly righted the ship for a record 7th wicket partnership for the Stags before McCone completed his five wicket bag, finishing on 9-1-38-5, to condemn the home side to the inevitable.