The Auckland Aces held their nerve to win this years HRV Twenty20 Cup thanks to a thrilling 4 run victory over the Central Stags at Colin Maiden Park in Auckland.
The home team successfully defended a total of just 159 thanks in part to Michael Bates (4-18) who picked up three wickets in the opening over of the Stags run chase.
Bates dismissed Peter Ingram, Jamie How and Ian Blackwell from the first 4 deliveries of the game to leave the defending champions 0-3.
Ross Taylor (44) and Michael Yardy lead the recovery but with wickets falling at regular intervals the Stags were unable to chase down the Aces total despite a quick fire 27 from Doug Bracewell which included two huge sixes in the final 3 overs.
Having won the toss the Aces batted first with Jimmy Adams leading the way with a impressive innings of 62 which included 5 fours and a six, Colin de Grandhomme (31) and Colin Munro (29) offered support.
With no other batsman reaching double figures the Aces posted a disappointing total of 158-8 which included a lower order collapse as the home side lost their finals three wickets for the addition of just 7 runs.