Just because it's twenty20 cricket it doesn't mean you can't learn anything from it, as the case was when the Central Districts Stags thumped the Northern Districts Knights in Napier tonight.
It wasn't so much the 120-run flogging the defending champions had dished out at McLean Park that was the lesson but more the way the hosts had gone about dismantling the visitors in the opening, televised round of the glamour domestic Dream11 Super Smash competition.
Ironically as the sod-stained Black Caps toiled on an unforgiving Optus Stadium pitch in Perth the sunbaked face of opening batsman Jeet Raval didn't require any interpretation. Australia had piled on 416 runs before they were skittled for dinner on day two of the pink-ball test match soon after the Stags' victory here.
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The sobering lecture? CD test spinner Ajaz Patel and ND leggie Ish Sodhi had put on a masterful display on a benign batting wicket in Hawke's Bay.
With just Mitchell Santner the only genuine tweaker among the Black Caps, coach Gary Stead's gamble with speed merchant Lockie Ferguson had hit a judder bar after he was rested with a calf injury.
Santner was wicket-less from 33 overs, going for 111 runs and Raval backing up with 1-33 from 13 overs, including a maiden. Ominously Aussie tweaker Nathan Lyons was frothing around the mouth as he spun the pink ball and caught it with intent at the stadium.
It'll be interesting to see how much the 41C climes take their toll on the battle-weary Black Caps but they were ominously two down — Tom Latham for a duck and Raval for one — after just 1.3 overs.
That left captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, New Zealand's two international class batsmen, taking the body blows although BJ Watling's toe-digging mentality would help the Kiwi cause. Opening seamer Josh Hazelwood hobbling off, clutching his hammy perhaps not that much because of the Ockers' bowling firepower.
"Look to be honest, anytime you get to play for New Zealand you'd happily play so that's the aspiration and the dream," said orthodox left-armer Patel when asked if he would have relished some time out in Perth.
"Hopefully that call will come in time so I've just got to keep working harder on my game to make sure I'm looking after my things," said the 31-year-old, after heaping plaudits on CD batsmen for providing the ideal platform for the bowling attack to unravel the Knights' potent batting blueprint.
Patel, who took 3-21 from 3.5 overs tonight, said with Ferguson out of the attack, it was the nature of the game and the Kiwis always had the propensity to adapt with their proven tenacity.
"It's nice to see Jeet bowl a few overs as well because he's always a capable spinner so, hopefully, now it'll give him a bit of motivation to work a little harder on his bowling," he said with a chuckle of the Auckland opening left-hand batsman who will be looking to pull himself out of a mini-batting slump at home.
Tonight the Stags scored a handsome 5-221 from their allotted 20 overs after captain Tom Bruce won the toss and elected to bat, after a minute's silence for the Whakaari/White Island victims.
Opening left-hander George Worker went out for 42 from 20 balls on what can best be described as a conservative shot after stepping outside his off stump to stray from his usual lofty swing to take a let-the-ball-come-to-me presentation that clipped the inside edge of his bat to chop on to his furniture to ease some frown lines on the youthful face of seamer Matt Fisher.
Only Ish Sodhi looked like he was filing his income tax returns on an inflated batting strip. The legspinner had lured first drop Christian Leopard into chasing one deep backward of square leg only to find Scott Kuggeleijn sweeping across to snaffle the ball for a sedate 13 runs.
Sodhi then removed opener Dane Cleaver for 39 runs from a second ball of a three-run third over.
Slow-arm opener Anton Devcich was left shaking his head at Daryl Mitchell — avoiding eye contact with him — when he let No 4 Bruce off the hook for loose change before the captain went on to make ND pay with 38 runs, including smudging the account books of Sodhi who closed his ledger at 2-27 from four overs.
No 5 Kieran Noema-Barnett hadn't wasted time, catching up with Bruce on 38 runs from 16 balls, a ball before Bruce had departed with the same score from 21 deliveries from a Devcich offering miscued like a lob wedge into the hands of the bowler who can't be blamed for taking the guess work out after the earlier mis-field .
No 6 Joshua Clarkson brought up the 200 with two lusty sixes off Mitchell in his costly first and penultimate over that went for 21 runs, after a much-needed frugal one from Anurag Verma before that.
It only raised the question of why Knights skipper Dean Brownlie didn't roll Mitchell's arm a little earlier or why he left a thrifty Devcich stranded on three overs.
Medium pacer Verma took some stick in the last over but got Noema-Barnett for 47 runs with a calm and collected runout off his own slow bouncer to finish with 0-39 to be one of only three ND bowlers who didn't haemorrhage more than 10 runs an over.
Clarkson was unbeaten on 31 balls off just 13 deliveries.
While Patel agreed the wicket heavily favoured the batsmen he said a daunting total still had to be posted to demand the opposition start chasing it down from ball one.
"I think our batters built the patform for us which made our jobs easier to match up so we need to do what we do and control what we can control," he said.
In the run chase, ND opener Devcich had a life on four runs when Clarkson misjudged his mistimed shot off opening seamer Ben Wheeler's third ball of his first over.
It was Noema-Barnett's turn to deal with a bout of whoopsie daisy when he dropped Devcich but Rance remained relentless with an lbw shout, albeit ambitious, on Brownlie before dismissing the latter for nine runs after enticing him into playing a false shot down the throat of Worker.
Patel came in to have ND down 2-26 with the scalp of Joe Carter, dismissed for two runs after Cleaver stumped him.
He then went for 12 runs but not before No 4 Brett Hampton heard the death rattle for four runs to leave the Knights precariously perched on 3-53 after seven overs.
Taranaki debutant Ryan Watson won't need any dandruff shampoo after claiming his maiden wicket, the timely scalp of Devcich who eventually pushed his luck too far when Leopard snaffled his speculator to end his knock at 35 runs.
No 6 Daniel Flynn showed second-change bowler Noema-Barnett no respect for his medium-slow offerings but morosely left the batting crease on the fourth delivery for a meagre seven runs.
The writing was on the wall when Wheeler had No 8 Peter Bocock slashing on to his stumps from a goodish length ball for 13 runs, as ND looked horribly anaemic at 6-86, two balls past the halfway mark.
Bruce didn't show any mercy, rolling in Patel which resulted in a shambolic run out of Mitchell for 13 runs off a stellar throw from Worker although Kuggeleijn was guilty of poking at the ball outside the off stump and then ball watching while Mitchell had advanced deep into a run.
But Kuggeleijn wasn't done ball watching, lashing at Noema-Barnett in the following over, missing wildly but turning around to ogle at Cleaver whipping off his bails rather than sliding his foot back over the line to avoid a stumping for seven runs.
Patel put the visitors out of their misery when he had Sodhi caught Clarkson for five runs, after Leopard had dropped him a ball earlier. A skittled ND had stuttered to 101 runs with 31 balls still left in the vault.
Veteran Noema-Barnett was outstanding with 2-10 from his two overs and so was swing merchant Rance, 1-10 from just as many overs.
Willem Ludick put his hand up for the next game, with 1-4 from his single over. Just Wheeler and Watson went for more than 10 an over from the six bowlers Bruce adroitly rotated.
"The way that Wheels and Seth started us off put a lot more pressure on their batsmen quickly and even Luddy bowled a fantastic over because it's not always easy in the powerplay overs," said Patel of a match that was complete although the dropped catches could prove costly in a tighter game.
"That's always part of T20s, you know, because they're always quite difficult catches [and] not too straight forward so that can happen sometimes so you just have to make sure you keep dominating so the boys did really well."
He saluted Bruce for giving the bowlers the confidence to execute their plans after talking around it.
"He's been fantastic and has a good head on his shoulders, especially in Twenty20s when you're on the go all the time so it's good the captain stays calm and collected and keeps you calm as well."
It was a timely fillip for rookie CD coach Aldin Smith who was saddled with the job when initial appointment Mickey Arthur, of South Africa, did a U-turn last month.
Patel said Smith had left no rocks un-turned in the two camps leading up to the Super Smash campaign and deserved the start. The lads were hoping to notch up a few more wins for him this summer in the quest to retain the crown.
Worker claimed the Game Changer Award for his run out.