Two consecutive Super Smash Twenty20 grand finals for the Central Districts Stags and double the agony in Hamilton today.

If they had snuck in with some sterling bowling in the eliminator final then CD were going to need divine intervention to win the televised Burger King-sponsored grand final against the Northern Districts Knights at Seddon Park.

Unfortunately for the Heinrich Malan-coached Stags, the cricketing gods were having the day off as they succumbed to a nine-wicket defeat in the domestic men's competition grand final on a predictably tired pitch.

Top qualifiers ND had done their homework as their spinners, Ish Sodhi and Anton Devcich, paved a path of destruction for the CD batsmen after Young won the toss and elected to pad up.


Only four Stags got into double figures but it was obvious they had left their bats at home as very few strokes were played.

In some respects, their mindset was reminiscent of former Black Caps skipper Brendon McCallum when he self-destructed and his troops followed suit in the ICC World Cup one-day final against Australia in Melbourne in 2015.

The visitors pedantically stuck to their premeditated blueprint of aggressiveness in batting and taking wickets when it was obvious the used wicket was dictating terms.

In fact, CD opening bastman George Worker had alluded to that in his preview of the grand final.

Asked on TV if CD were too in your face today, Young said: "Absolutely. I think we were probably slow in assessing how slow the wicket was."

The skipper felt 150 runs was perhaps a more realistic total than the 170 they had envisaged in the changing sheds.

"We lost too many wickets at the top and couldn't regather from there," said Young who was at the helm last summer when the Wellington Firebirds dismantled them in similar fashion to clinch the title at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.

While the Stags were a talented young bunch, he said, they were adept at winning games and didn't want that to become an escape clause for their poor performance.

"We got outplayed today by a quality Knights team who finished on the top of the table for a good reason," Young said commendably.

The Stags today pushed, prodded and stuttered, especially against Sodhi (2-15) and Devcich (3-16), to post a mediocre total of 99-8 in 20 allotted overs.

CD opener Jesse Ryder came and went for a two-ball duck trying to hit Brent Arnell out of the park but falling shy to Brett Hampton at deep mid-wicket.

Another wicket fell in the last ball of the second over. Scott Kuggeleijn had Young scooping a mistimed pitch-wedge shot to Sodhi running around to collect the ball at third man.

Young departed for five runs, pushing the most runs scored in the T20 competition to 331 although ND wicketkeeper Tim Seifert was sitting on 300 and yet to bat.

The Stags' woes continued as No 4 Tom Bruce also emulated his captain, offering a comfortable catch to England international import Chris Jordan off a Kuggeleijn delivery at cover for three runs (25-3).

A run later the game came to a brief halt as Kuggeleijn and Seifert asked the question of umpire Billy Bowden for a faint nick but Worker stood his ground and the third umpire A Gillies ruled in favour of the batsman.

Sensing a little hesitation from CD batsmen, ND skipper Dean Brownlie immediately went to his off spinner Devcich and Black Caps legspinner Sodhi, for an over each to stifle the run rate even more with some slick fielding.

Jordan caused a few problems in between before Sodhi returned to tighten the screw with a slip.

The Wasp, which was projecting a 150-run total, had ominously dropped to 137 and then some as the game progressed.

CD wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver's dismissal was definitely controversial with Bowden putting his finger up to a Sodhi delivery feathered to Seifert but the Stag wasn't amused, shaking his head as he trudged off.

The umpires got into a huddle for a quick verdict but didn't go for a TV referral as CD slumped to 53-4 in 10 overs.

The nightmare continued for CD with Devcich luring Worker to hole out to mid off as Brownlie took a soaring one-handed catch to dismiss the top run scorer for 37 runs five balls later as the visitors languished at 57-5.

Sodhi then went on to frustrate Joshua Clarkson, enticing him to charge a delivery for two runs (60-6).

It was Devcich's turn in the first ball of the next over, rearranging Ben Wheeler's furniture for a solitary run as the Stags got to 63-7.

The 32-year-old former Black Cap then claimed Seth Rance, who holed off his last ball to Jordan at long on for four runs to leave CD on 69-8.

The Wasp had slipped under the 100 mark to 97 for CD.

The Knights started with intent, Seifert and Devicich eking out nine boundaries between them in two overs.

But as the top T20 bowler had done all season, Blair Tickner got Seifert top edging one to Clarkson at long on for 23 runs to leave Young as the highest run scorer this summer in the format.

But ND were 30-1 and never looked like having a calamitous collapse despite CD spinner Ajaz Patel coming in for the next over.

Tickner went for 20 runs off his second over and Patel for 24 (a boundary a ball) although Devcich was dropped at square leg.

It was a humbling lesson for CD that whatever the firepower it's smart cricket to adapt when the variables are screaming out.

TV commentators Scott Styris and Nathan McCallum were having a field day, urging the Stags to simply hand over the trophy at the seven-over mark.

Devcich was unbeaten on 51 runs and Brownlie on 28 as the Knights eclipsed the pedestrian target of 103-1 in just 8.5 overs.

It was a cruel way to finish for the CD bowlers and batsmen who were top of the class in statistics but paid the price for inconsistency.

The champagne-popping Knights were crowned the 2017-18 champions, accolades deservedly for consistency throughout the season.