A James Marshall half-century and a good double from Mark Orchard helped State Northern Knights to a narrow one-run victory over State Central Stags at Seddon Park.
The Knights skipper chose to bat and backed his decision with 54 from 35 balls as the hosts posted 144 in the State Twenty20 match at Hamilton.
Orchard boosted the total with 28 from 22 balls, before taking three for 26 as the Stags were limited to from their 20-over innings.
Marshall’s stands with Daniel Flynn (18) and Ian Butler (nine) were the only significant partnerships of the ND innings.
Orchard closed the innings, before turning his attention to leading the attack.
He was well supported in the seam attack by Daryl Tuffey (three for 27) and New Zealand Under-19 international Tim Southee, who took one for 23 on debut.
The Stags riposte totalled at 143 for nine from the full complement of overs.
Ewen Thompson brought CD within touching distance with 27 from 20 balls, matching Peter Ingram’s tally and following Jacob Oram’s 19, which included four boundaries.
But Ian Butler returned to the attack for the last over, and bowled Thompson before the run-out of Brendon Diamanti (four) slowed the Stags, who could not muster the required four runs from as many deliveries.