Ross Taylor made an encouraging return to the crease in his pre-world T20 workout as the North thumped the South in the Origin clash at the Basin Reserve today.
New Zealand's senior batsman was having his first hitout since sidelined by a left side strain during a T20 international against Pakistan in Wellington in mid-January.
Taylor made an unbeaten 26 off 16 balls as the North cruised to a six-wicket win over the South.
Students of body language would have detected a couple of uncomfortable moments at the start of his innings, one when he tried to pull a Nathan McCullum delivery to long leg and looked ginger in his movements immediately after.
However there were also solid pulls and cuts to the fence as Taylor showed some nice touches against a largely lacklustre South attack.
''I was pretty nervous leading into today," Taylor said last night.
''It held up okay but it was a bit stiff there. It was good to stretch it out and I'm sure in a couple of weeks hopefully it'll be 10 percent."
Taylor also believed he would have been good to make the trip even if he had not had today's workout.
The South managed only a meagre 126, Dean Brownlie opening with a useful 29 off 15 balls, and Henry Nicholls hitting 28 off 27 but otherwise the South had nothing to offer, as legspinner Ish Sodhi warmed up for the world event taking four for 24 off his four overs.
The clean hitting George Worker (53 off 30 balls) and Colin Munro put on 63 in five overs for the second wicket cashing in on wayward bowling to effectively decide the match.
Taylor and Luke Ronchi put on 40 in 26 balls to finish things off.
New Zealand players have a couple of days off before flying out to Dubai for a preparatory camp on Thursday.
In today's curtain raiser, New Zealand took a 1-0 lead in their three-game T20 series against Australia.