Northern Districts lost their last eight wickets for 42 runs to finish on 142 in Hamilton, but that did not hurt them; they restricted Wellington to 135 for 9 to win by seven runs.
Daryl Mitchell and Ben Laughlin took seven wickets between them to dent Wellington, not allowing any of the batsmen to create partnerships. Mitchell dismissed both Wellington openers - Hamish Marshall and Michael Papps - off consecutive deliveries in the fourth over. He finished with 4 for 35. Tom Blundell's 42-ball 63 offered Wellington's lone resistance; he was the ninth man out, dismissed by Laughlin, whose miserly figures of 3 for 13 meant Wellington's required run-rate kept on increasing. After Blundell's dismissal, they managed only seven runs off the last over.
Earlier in the match, Joe Carter (32), Nathan Reardon (34) and Corey Anderson (34) batted aggressively to take Northern Districts to 100 for 2, before the collapse began; team was dismissed in the final over for 142 as their last seven batsmen aggregated only 21 runs.
Defending champions Auckland beat Otago by 22 runs at home after Hong Kong's Mark Chapman hit 76 off 32 balls in an innings that included seven sixes and four fours.
Four Auckland players made their T20 debut, one of them being opener Glenn Phillips, who scored a 32-ball 55, combining with Rob Nicol and Jeet Raval to stitch together two consecutive partnerships of 35 runs each. Chapman arrived after he was dismissed - with the team at 74 for 3 - and he added 108 runs for the fifth wicket with another debutant, SM Solia (30), before he was out in the last over of their innings.
In their chase, Otago recovered after an early setback, with Anaru Kitchen (42) and Derek de Boorder (44) adding 64 runs for the second wicket. But with wickets falling every few overs, they finished 22 runs short of a win at the end of their 20 overs. Legbreak bowler Tarun Nethula picked two wickets and also effected de Boorder's run out during a crucial stretch of the match.
Central Districts beat Canterbury by seven runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method in a rain-affected match in New Plymouth in a game that stretched 28.5 overs overall.
Central Districts finished on 198 after their 20, in part due to a second-wicket partnership of 73, followed by a 75-run partnership for the fourth wicket. The first of those was between George Worker (32-ball 36) and the captain Will Young (27-ball 33), which was complemented by Tom Bruce (24-ball 39) and Doug Bracewell (21-ball 37). Andrew Ellis finished with three wickets, but conceded 49 runs.
In their chase, Canterbury lost three wickets by the time they scored 33, but their scoring rate was high. Opener Chad Bowes struck 24 off 10 balls as they raced to 50 in under six overs. But a rain delay in the eighth over followed by another rain stoppage in the ninth, meant they finished on 77 for 3 after 8.5 overs, short of Central Districts' par-score by seven runs, with Cam Fletcher (20) and Ellis (27) remaining not out.