The Central Stags are off to a winning start in the 2010-11 season of the HRV Twenty/20 Cup.
The defending champions beat their neighbours, the Northern Knights, in a sunny Hamilton's Seddon Park by a 78-run deficit in the first game of the 10 round tournament.
The Central Stags have proved that the longer four day form of the game is not the only form they can dominate in.
Central districts reached a stand of 176 for five batting first. English imports Ian Blackwell and Mike Yardy both reached respective scores of 45 and 32 in a 76-run partnership, while Kieran Noema-Barnett reached 40. Wicket-keeping Captain Kruger Van Wyk also made a respective score of 32 from just 24 balls.
The Northern Knights never got going in their run case, due to the frequent loss of wickets. The Australian import was their high scorer with just 35, with BJ Watling the only other batsman to reach double figures with 21.
Michael Mason ended with figures of 3-17, also Adam Milne and Doug Bracewell both took two wickets each.
Crowds at the local grounds all over New Zealand are expected to be better than last season, due to the huge amount of interest that is growing for the shorter version of the game, as more entertainment and freebies for the kids are becoming more frequent.
Stags move on to play last season's finalists, the Auckland Aces, in Auckland tomorrow afternoon at five pm.
The final is on Jan. 2, 2011 with the following day serving as a reserve, if need be.