Central Stags 219-4 in 20 overs (Will Young 83, Dane Cleaver 77*, Mitch McClenaghan 2-33) beat Auckland Aces (Colin Munro 33, Daniel Bell-Drummond 64, Seth Rance 2-31) by 44 runs at Eden Park Outer Oval, Auckland.
George Worker was dangerous early, hitting one onto Sandringham Road, before chopping Mitchell McClenaghan on for seven.
Dean Foxcroft followed quickly for four, which was the signal for Will Young and Dane Cleaver to go hard on the counter-attack, lifting the run rate to over 11 with some well-placed shots and several over the top, taking their toll on the Auckland spinners.
With wickets in hand, Young and Cleaver rode their luck, running hard, turning ones into twos and having several half-chances fall just beyond the Auckland fielders' hands.
Young went from the last ball of the innings for 83, with his partner in crime Cleaver not out on 77, having put 219-4 on the board for the Aces to chase.
In reply, Colin Munro came hard out of the gate, striking 33 from 18 balls before holing out to Tom Bruce from Adam Milne's bowling.
Daniel Bell-Drummond formed the backbone of the innings, making 64, supported by Glenn Phillips (30) and Mark Chapman (10).
When Bell-Drummond went in the 17th over with nearly 20 an over still required, the Aces' hopes of a trip down State Highway One went with him, as the Stags ran out winners by 44 runs.