Three rounds and twice out for the count but this time the knockout punch came from a familiar foe.
An unbeaten 129 runs from former Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags opener George Worker yesterday laid the foundation for the Canterbury Wizards to inflict yet another defeat on his old team.
The left-hander carved up 11 boundaries and two sixes as the Gray Stead-coached Wizards registered a 67-run victory on the back of opening bowler Ryan McCone's five-wicket bag as CD's run chase fell shy in trying to overhaul 280-4 in 50 overs.
Having won the toss, Canterbury skipper Andrew Ellis, who was unbeaten on 65, had no hesitation in padding up.
"It's disappointing but we were our own worst enemies," CD coach Alan Hunt lamented last night.
Hunt said Canterbury should never have got to their total.
"They scored 95 in the last 10 overs and 64 in the last four."
It wasn't pretty from captain Kieran Noema-Barnett and his men on the field after they had the whoopsy daisies, dropping two catches.
"We dropped Ellis when he was on 12 or 15 and that cost us about 45 runs," Hunt said of the Black Caps allrounder.
"We just can't make fundamental mistakes like that," he said of the defending champions who have only one win from three outings before travelling north to Seddon Park, Hamilton, on Wednesday.
Hunt said the Stags got the ball past Worker's leg stump early in the his innings but the Manawatu player got through and played with aplomb to anchor the innings for the visitors.
Hamish Nicholls also made 61 from 84 balls
CD bowlers, according to Hunt, bowled well but took a pasting towards the latter stages of the innings.
Ben Wheeler took 2-41 while Milne had 1-61.
Andrew Mathieson was among the wicketless with 0-73 although Noema-Barnett was frugal at 0-36.
Legspinner Tarun Nethula was also expensive, claiming 1-59.
"Adam [Milne] was 35 [runs in eight overs] at one stage but then he got smashed at the end," Hunt said, adding if fans took stock of bowling figures around the country they would realise a total of 280 was the norm now with the ICC rules imposed to favour the batsmen.
Bowlers, who were acceptable around the 3-4 mark, were now averaging 5-6 runs an over and it shouldn't surprise people to see them haemorrhage 70-80 runs in their spells.
Again, the Stags' top-order batsmen failed to deliver with openers Jeet Raval and Jamie How getting starts but not pushing on while Mathew Sinclair and William Young didn't step up and Kruger van Wyk went cheaply as CD had eight overs remaining to bat.
Ben Smith and Nethula were caught a run shy of 50 but Craig Cachopa's return will be weclomed from NZ XI duties. Left-arm seamer Ryan McCone swung the ball for 5-38.
Hunt felt CD were still right in the mix despite two losses after the Knights beat Otago Volts by 42 runs in Invercargill and after Auckland Aces beat the Wellington Firebirds by four wickets at the Basin Reserve in other Ford Trophy matches yesterday.