Three premier men's club teams are locked in a dead heat after two victories and a defeat each following the limited-overs competition in Hawke's Bay.
They are giant-killers Taradale Cricket Club, Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay (CHB) and Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB).
At Nelson Park, Napier, the Toby Doyle-skippered Taradale team carried on from their two-wicket win over NTOB with a seven-wicket trouncing of Cornwall on Saturday.
Again, it was mostly about tidy bowling rather than taking wickets as Dale stifled the Hastings club for 163-7 in 50 overs.
No4 Seb Langridge, with recent New Zealand Provincial A Tournament experience, was 65 not out while captain Jacob Smith added 31.
Eddie Torr claimed three wickets but the other bowlers kept their feet on the throat of the Cornwall batsmen.
In reply, Taradale eclipsed the paltry total with 164-3 in 41 overs with opener Toby Doyle unbeaten on 65 and No3 Josh Jones matching him before losing his wicket.
While NTOB and Cornwall had some key players away so did'Dale, especially with the national under-19 tournament.
"We're happy with two good results against two good teams so, hopefully, we'll take that momentum into the next couple of games," Doyle said.
On the adjacent pitch, NTOB predictably overwhelmed The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist (NOBM) by 82 runs.
The George Diack-captained NTOB amassed 222-7 in 50 overs.
No3 Alex McGarva top scored with 46 runs while No9 Jurgen Andersen contributed a quick-fire 36 from 17 balls and No7 Liam Rukuwai added 32.
NOBM's wheels came off in the 42nd over with No6 Bevan Pollock and No4 Harry Ghodke sharing the batting honours with 39 each.
"Everyone got a wicket or two," Diack said of his bowlers.
Putting aside the disappointment of their loss tom 'Dale the previous weekend, he said NTOB were keen to make amends.
"It was a kick in the backside last week but we came away with a bonus point today," said Diack who had his daughter's birthday the previous weekend.
NOBM veteran Llorne Howell said they were up for the battle but NTOB held it together on a green strip.
"We thought we could chase down their total but their seamers bowled well and we just weren't good enough today," ex-Black Caps batsman Howell said.
Coach/captain Todd Astill was left scratching his head at Anderson Park, after Havelock North CC lost by five wickets to CHB.
"It's not often that you score a 200-plus [total] at Anderson Park and lose," Astill lamented after the hosts posted 228-7 in 50 overs but CHB overhauled the target with 230-5 with seven overs to spare.
Astill provided the platform with an unbeaten 68 at No6, including eight fours and a six.
Opener Adam Bryant scored 32 and No9 Kurt Richards, in his first game this summer because of work commitments and an English holiday, was 32 not out, while former Black Caps wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk was not out 22 as he works his way back from injury for the first-class Plunket Shield match against the Canterbury Wizards at McLean Park, Napier, from Thursday.
"Kurt came in at a time when I was there and he just let it rip to find boundary a few times," Astill said.
CHB's Henry Hunter took 4-36 from eight overs, including a maiden, but English import Paul Hindmarch was the most frugal with 15 for none from eight overs, including three maidens.
Hindmarch then padded at No4 to rack up 88 runs, including seven fours and half a dozen sixes, while opener Sam McConville, following on from his century the previous weekend, added 48 from 111 balls in an innings of patience.
Matthew Taylor (7 overs, 2 maidens, 25 runs, 1 wicket), Richards (10-1m-39-1) and Jared Priest (10-1-17-1) did a stellar job to tighten the noose but Astill said the other tandem bowlers didn't emulate them.
"CHB bowled and batted better than us. Hindmarch put away the bad balls," he said.
CHB skipper Scott Schaw said despite beating NOBM the previous weekend at Nelson Park, they didn't bat and bowl as well as they did on Saturday.
"It's always good to bat around someone and Sam did that job today," Schaw said of ex-Hawke's Bay representative McConville who anchored the innings with Hunter against NOBM, too.
"JP [Priest] had the ball on a piece of string," he said of the veteran medium pacer.
Schaw said they didn't panic while running out of overs but had CHB lost a couple more scalps it might have been a different story.