Wellington 182 for 4 (Papps 70*, Ryder 46) beat Auckland 159 for 8 (Finch 44, Woodcock 2-23) by 23 runs
Wellington saw off defending champions Auckland in the HRV Cup play-off to set up a final against Otago. A Jesse Ryder onslaught and Michael Papps' unbeaten 70 pushed Wellington to an imposing 182 for 4 and then all six bowlers used chipped in with wickets to secure a comfortable win.
After Lou Vincent fell for a golden duck to the first ball of the chase, Auckland's hopes rested squarely on the shoulders of Aaron Finch, who flew over to rejoin the Aces after being on the losing side in Melbourne Renegades' BBL semi-final on Tuesday. Finch top-scored with 44 from 30 balls but when he became the third wicket to fall with the score on 84 from 9.2 overs, Wellington had the breakthrough they needed.
Finch's departure to Luke Woodcock ended a 72-run partnership and Auckland were unable to get going again, Woodcock claiming a second during an economical spell and Ryder picking up 2 for 32.
It was Ryder whose firepower gave Wellington such a fast start, the opener thrashing all of his runs in boundaries - seven fours and three sixes - during a 17-ball innings. When he was out, having made 46 of Wellington's 49, only three overs had been bowled and there was time for home side to settle down. Cameron Borgas came in at 53 for 2 and added 79 in 11.2 overs with Papps, the former New Zealand international going on to make his best score in T20 cricket.
After Borgas' dismissal in the 16th over, Luke Ronchi injected further momentum with a breezy 21. Matthew Quinn claimed Ronchi as his second wicket, to go with Ryder, but for the concession of 48 runs in three overs it was a high cost for the 19-year-old quick - one that was too much for Auckland to bear.