A perfectly paced unbeaten 159 by former BLACKCAP Lou Vincent ensured Auckland Ace's pursuit of Canterbury Wizard's belatedly inflated 295 resembled a dawdle at QEII Park in Christchurch today.
After standing powerless as Canterbury caned a massive 75 from their last five overs, Vincent adopted the same approach in a 157-ball master class as Auckland eventually cruised home in the third round domestic one-day competition clash with 14 balls - and six wickets - in reserve.
Vincent's eighth one-day ton was inevitably the cornerstone of Auckland's 297 for four, though the hard-hitting right hander still required tangible support.
Opening partner Jeet Ravel took even more shine of the new ball as he plundered 42 from 28 balls - including six boundaries - as the Canterbury pace attack suffered like their Auckland counterparts.
Sharp fielding was required to separate the pair on 99 - their platform being hastily assembled from 71 balls.
Vincent, who brought up his half century from 42 balls, then watched as Anaru Kitchen, Gareth Hopkins and Colin de Grandhomme departed in the space of a dozen runs - not that the mini collapse signalled a momentum shift.
South Africa-born strokemaker Colin Munro, in just his third match for the province steadied the innings with a circumspect maiden half century -- his unbeaten 62 from 71 balls started in languid fashion before gaining impetus as the finish line loomed.
Vincent, meanwhile, maintained a flawless scoring rate throughout his 197 minute stay at the crease - he clipped 14 boundaries and two sixes.
He duly brought up his century from 102 balls was closing in on his career-best score of 172 when victory was achieved.
Earlier, a whirlwind unbeaten 61 from 30 balls by Canterbury allrounder Andrew Ellis gave an inkling of what was possible on a surface on which his top order struggled to gain traction.
Ellis, who took guard in the 40th over when Canterbury were 174 for four, invigorated the home side in tandem with teenage wicketkeeper Tom Latham - a union that reaped a remarkable 73 runs in just 26 balls.
The pair went berserk against New Zealand representatives Kyle Mills and Daryl Tuffey.
Mills first six overs conceded just 16 runs but he was savaged at the death, his last 12 balls going for 47 as Ellis and Latham -- who plundered 28 from 14 -- embarked on a boundary and six hitting spree.
Ellis clubbed five boundaries and cleared the ropes three times; Latham, son of hard-hitting 1992 World Cup opener Rod, managed a quartet of fours and a towering six.
After winning the toss, Canterbury made a solid if unspectacular start as Rob Nicol and Michael Papps (48) constructed an opening stand worth 95 in 22.5 overs.
Former Aucklander Nicol maintained the anchor role until the 39th over when he was caught by Vincent off the bowling of Andre Adams (2-47) from 81 from 127 balls.
Canterbury's middle order was tied down, primarily by Adams and left arm spinner Roneel Hira, who recorded 1-44 from his 10 overs.
Nicol was the most economical Canterbury bowler with one for 36 from 10 but the pacemen suffered. Vincent and Ravel took a particular liking to Ryan McCone, who conceded 45 from 5.4 overs.