Wellington 184 for 6 (Ryder 60, Adams 4-25) beat Auckland 174 for 5 (Mustard 97*) by 10 runs
Phil Mustard's 97 not out was not enough to see Auckland home against Wellington as his side fell 10 runs short at Eden Park.
Mustard, who played 10 ODIs for England, had said regaining his place in the England team was part of his motivation for a winter with Auckland and he showed his strokemaking and ability to accelerate in a 66-ball innings that contained six sixes and six fours.
Mustard led from the front after Lou Vincent was run out by Grant Elliot to the first ball of the chase. He initially played carefully, taking 47 balls to reach his half-century before exploding with four sixes and two fours in 19 balls.
But the blitz came too late as spells from Mark Houghton, fours overs for just 17, and Dimitri Mascarenhas - another to have played a handful of ODIs for England - left Auckland with too much to do in the second half of the chase.
Jesse Ryder had helped post a target above nine-runs-an-over with three sixes in 60 from 37 balls. But the difference in the two innings was further contributions as Michael Papps made 38 in just 21 balls and wicketkeeper Luke Rhonchi 43 in 27 deliveries.