Corey Anderson is back to his best, and the Northern Knights finally made the most of it.
The returning Black Caps all-rounder struck a brilliant 98 as a fantastic middle-order batting effort saw the Knights thrash the Auckland Aces by 101 runs in their Ford Trophy one-dayer today.
Recently recalled to the Black Caps Twenty 20 side after recovering from injury, Anderson's innings came four days after made 88 in a close loss to Auckland. This time round however, he got more support as the Knights picked up their first one-day win of the season.
Things originally looked grim for the visitors, with their top order collapsing at the hands of Auckland bowler James Fuller. Fuller at one stage had the remarkable figures of 3-0 after 2.1 overs, and the Knights were in deep trouble at 15/3.
However, Anderson was joined by Anton Devcich and the pair put on a counter-attacking masterclass.
The classy duo attacked from the outset of their partnership, smashing the Aces seamers all around Eden Park Outer Oval, before then consolidating by taking singles off the slower bowlers.
They even managed to make two Auckland fieldsmen viscously collide on the boundary diving to stop another boundary.
141 was added for the fourth wicket before Devcich departed for 53, leaving the stage set for some big lower-order hitting. Anderson made his highest score for the Knights but fell two runs short of a century, while BJ Watling made a handy 39 from 41 balls in his 100th one-day game for the Knights.
Daryl Mitchell - demoted four spots down the order to number seven after a painstakingly slow innings on Wednesday - showed his abilities with a 39-ball 53, and 19 runs came off the final over of the innings as the Knights posted an impressive 302/8.
Facing an uphill battle, the Aces' hopes were left in tatters as Northern seamers James Baker and Brett Hampton picked up two wickets apiece, leaving the hosts at 60/4.
The in-form Robbie O'Donnell fought hard, making 62, but Devcich combined with fellow spinner Jono Boult to remove the Aces' middle order.
Fuller bashed an unbeaten 33 to provide some resistance, but it was merely delaying the inevitable as the Knights cruised to a 101 run win.
Hampton ended with career-best figures of 4-30, while Boult took 3-47 in an efficient bowling display.
The other two scheduled Ford Trophy games were abandoned due to rain, leaving the Knights in fifth on the ladder, while the Aces sit in second, three points behind leaders Canterbury.