Wellington have hit the front in the Twenty20 Super Smash following a destruction of the winless Otago Volts.
A solid bowling performance was followed by a rapid opening partnership as Wellington chased down 160 with a remarkable 42 balls to spare at the Basin Reserve.
The win moves them ahead of Northern Districts on net run rate, with both sides on 16 points, though Wellington have played an extra game.
While a spot in the finals isn't a sure thing, they are developing into a well-balanced veteran side. Today they received contributions from both spinners and seamers, before three salvos with the bat got them home with ease.
English import Samit Patel was a standout, taking 2-26 as Otago were once again found lacking while batting first.
Shawn Hicks continued a breakthrough campaign with 50 from 37 balls, and Rob Nicol hit 36 from 26, but the cellar-dwellars couldn't provide any further fireworks from a batting lineup which has rarely produced in their five defeats to date.
When Nicol departed, Otago were well positioned at 74-2 after 8.3 overs, but Neil Broom (10 off 14) slowed proceedings, and nobody picked up the pace, as the visitors plodded their way through to 159-7.
While Patel led the way, he was well supported by Luke Woodcock, who help tie down the Otago middle order.
Woodcock claimed 1-18 from three overs, and aided in a runout, while fast bowlers Ollie Newton (1-29), Anurag Verma (1-28) and Logan Van Beek (1-18) all were handy in their three overs apiece.
Thanks to their efforts, Otago's total proved to be not nearly enough, as Wellington once again flew out of the gate thanks to experienced openers Luke Ronchi and Hamish Marshall.
Marshall smacked 10 fours in a 17-ball 43, while Ronchi preferred to go aerial, lofting three sixes in his 49 from 32 balls.
When Marshall fell at the end of the fifth over, Wellington had already racked up 75 runs, and were in no danger of losing.
In fact, the only danger was to a spectator who got clunked in the head by one of Wellington's four sixes, with Patel (34 not out from 16) continuing the onslaught and carrying the hosts to a most comfortable victory.
Wellington's reign atop the table is likely to be short lived however, with both Auckland and Canterbury poised to take ownership of the top spot when they meet in Christchurch tomorrow afternoon.