Northern Districts wicket-keeper Tim Seifert has blasted the fastest Twenty20 century in New Zealand domestic history.
In the first match under lights at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, it was Seifert who took the spotlight, smashing 107 off just 42 balls as ND claimed a seven-run victory over Auckland in the Twenty20 Super Smash.
The 23-year-old has long been tipped as a future Black Cap, but in the shortest format, he had yet to score a 50 due to often batting in the middle order.
However, he cashed in on his immense potential with a devastating innings, smearing the Auckland attack all around the picturesque bay ground.
Seifert's 40-ball century was easily the quickest century in the history of the competition, eclipsing Jamie How's 45-ball effort for Central Districts against Wellington in 2012.
The blistering innings is also the fastest century ever scored in a Twenty20 match held in New Zealand.
Seifert's knock was as incredible as the records suggest. Opening the batting, Seifert was out to make amends for his lacklustre innings the night before, where he made just three from nine balls in a limp defeat to Wellington.
Tonight, there were no such issues getting underway, and Seifert admitted that avenging that performance was his main motivation.
"I didn't do as well as I wanted last night, so I was trying to come out and do better than yesterday. It was just one of those nights that go your way - a couple of mis-hits which went for six - it was enjoyable," he told SKY.
Seifert did play a supporting role to begin, taking singles and twos as he tried to build into the innings. Anton Devcich (33 from 32) took most of the strike early on, and then powerful pinch-hitter Brett Hampton took over, smacking a quick 28 from 12 balls.
By then, Seifert had gotten into his work. He raced from 23 through to 50 in just eight balls, taking a particular liking to spinners Teja Nidamanuru and Tarun Nethula.
As wickets fell around him, Seifert kept plundering, putting Colin Munro over the mid-wicket fence, while Nethula was reverse-swept for a stunning six.
All up, nine fours and nine sixes were hit, with Seifert bringing up his record milestone with an innovative scoop for four.
The next ball was deposited over the boundary again, and fittingly, it took a special moment to finally dismiss him, with Ben Horne taking a catch inches inside the boundary rope as he was losing his balance, before throwing the ball back to Mark Chapman to complete the dismissal.
Seifert was pleased his move up the order had paid dividends.
"I spoke to Deano (Dean Brownlie) and said 'Is there any chance of coming up the order, not coming in when there are 10 balls left'. He thought it was a good idea, and looks like it might have come off."
ND ended their 20 overs at 214/9, and Auckland nearly pulled off the daunting run-chase.
Fellow prodigiously talented young wicket-keeper Glenn Phillips crunched 65 from 38 balls, and Robbie O'Donnell hit an unbeaten 42 from 20. Auckland's hopes looked dashed when needing 35 from 12 balls, but a big over off the bowling of Tim Southee (0-60 from four overs) put them in a position where they required 12 from four balls.
However, Ben Laughlin was calm under pressure, securing the win which Seifert's innings deserved.