The Wellington Firebirds cruised to a comprehensive 8 wicket victory over the defending HRV Twenty20 Cup champions after they beat the Central Stags at the Saxton Oval in Nelson.
Faced with a run chase of just 129 Stewart Rhodes led the way for the visitors with a quick fire 75 from just 60 balls to help the Firebirds complete an easy victory despite losing Michael Pollard at the end of the second over.
Neal Parlane added 30 at the top of the order during a 59 run second wicket partnership with Rhodes before the opener was caught by Michael Yardy off his own bowling.
Having won the toss the Stags got of to a great start thanks to Peter Ingram (46) and George Worker (31) who built up a first wicket partnership of 77 before spinner Jeetan Patel struck twice to dismiss the openers within the space of just 12 balls.
With Ingram and Worker gone the Stags suffered a dramatic collapse which saw them lose another 8 wickets for just 35 runs as they slumped to just 128 all out after reaching 93-2.