SKYCITY Northern Knights 184-6 (Daniel Flynn 67, Anton Devcich 50) beat Canterbury Kings 164-9 in 19.4 overs (Ronnie Hira 44, Scott Kuggeleijn 3-30) by 20 runs.
A 116 run opening partnership by SKYCITY Northern Knights Daniel Flynn and Anton Devcich set up the match for the Knights and ruined the Kings party in their first match at the revamped Hagley Oval. In cool and cooling conditions, the Knights bowlers went through the Kings batting to leave them struggling to get near the total.
A bumper crowd of 3000 bedecked in Kings purple had to watch the two openers in pink get their team off to an absolute flyer, playing a wide variety of shots around and sometimes over the fielders. Devcich survived a sharp catch chance when on 11 and went on to make 50 from 40 balls, slowing down a little toward the end of his stay at the crease.
At the other end Flynn was finding the boundary regularly, and hit three sixes and eight fours on his way to 67 from 40 balls, before he was picked up by Logan van Beek, caught by Cameron Fletcher. van Beek also took care of Devcich, caught by Ryan McCone in the 15th over.
The Knights middle order found life in the middle more difficult, before Daryl Mitchell (22) and Dan Vettori (21) created a big finish to get the Knights to 184 from their 20 overs. van Beek was miserly in his two overs, ending with figures of 2-9.
Neil Broom (29) and Ronnie Hira (44) got the Kings off to a bright start, making 66 for the first wicket before Broom holed out to Mitchell at long on from Vettori's bowling, while Hira was also caught by Mitchell from Jono Boult. Blizzard was forced to retire hurt for 12 runs, while the Kings were struggling to keep up with the run rate.
Peter Fulton was travelling well until the 17th over, when the Kings lost three wickets, with Brendon Diamanti (19), Fulton (33) and Cameron Fletcher (0) all losing their wickets thanks to some fine work by Scott Kuggeleijn.
From there, the Kings needed 40 from the last three overs and never looked likely, with the visitors running away with the win by 20 runs.