Martin Guptill’s 90 helped State Auckland Aces to a four-wicket win in a State Shield table-topping clash with Central Stags at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park.
The Aces reclaimed leadership in the table after half-centuries from Guptill and opening partner Paul Hitchcock (59) gave the visitors a commanding start to their run chase.
Earlier, BLACKCAPS opener Jamie How had also impressed from the top of the order, making 73 of the Stags’ 259 for eight.
How built stands of 54 with Peter Ingram (33) 62 with Ross Taylor (33), and although the rest of the CD top order made stars, it was left to a knock of 26 from 16 balls from Brendon Diamanti to boost the total.
Auckland’s reply sourced runs at pace, earning their opening 150 at close to run a ball pace.
A pair of wickets to Diamanti and Robbie Schaw slowed the rate, but the visitors passed the target with five balls to spare to claim victory.