Grant Robinson’s half-century led State Northern Knights to a five-wicket win over State Canterbury Wizards at Whangarei’s Cobham Oval.
The outgoing champions saw their 228 total chased down within 47 overs, with Robinson making 77 not out, carrying on after a 101-run stand with captain James Marshall (51) was broken.
Canterbury captain Chris Harris won the toss at the Northland venue and batted, but struggled at 26 for two before Michael Papps’ 37 moved them on.
Shanan Stewart continued the progress with 73, and the evergreen Harris providing 38.
The Knights’ reply was more solid at the start, and moved on at pace when Robinson and Marshall united in the middle.
Spinner Iain Robertson took two wickets, but the visiting attack could not repel the advance, sealed by Robinson and local boy Joseph Yovich (nine not out).