Wellington climbed off the floor to beat Otago yesterday thanks to a career-best innings by opener Michael Papps.
Chasing an improbable 350 at the Basin Reserve, Wellington's prospects looked dead and buried when Jesse Ryder departed in the second over bowled by Jacob Duffy.
But Papps and Stephen Murdoch collected their thoughts and then systematically tore Otago to shreds in the opening round of the 50-over competition.
Victory came with eight balls and six wickets to spare.
Playing in his 100th limited overs game, Papps scored a career best 162 not out from 138 balls, a knock that included 17 fours and a six.
Murdoch, a major disappointment in the Plunket Shield, hit 136 off 124, including 12 fours and five sixes.
Their second wicket stand of 273 bettered the previous best mark of 240 set by Northern Districts' Daniel Flynn and B J Watling against Wellington in Whangarei five seasons ago.
Wellington's total of 352-4 was the fourth highest domestic 50-overs score in New Zealand and Papps' score was only eight runs shy of Brendon McCullum's record 170 for Otago against Auckland in 2007-08.
Earlier, Otago looked to have done enough thanks to a century by Aaron Redmond, who made 114.
In Nelson, Northern Districts beat Central by 84 runs.
A record 155-run fourth-wicket partnership between Daryl Mitchell and James Marshall and an impressive early display of swing bowling by Trent Boult were the telling performances.
Not even an entertaining 75 from Ross Taylor, as part of a 70-run sixth wicket partnership with Kruger van Wyk, could alter the final outcome as the Stags could muster only 238 in reply to Northern's 322-7.
In the other game yesterday, Auckland ran down Canterbury's 269-9 with two overs and five wickets to spare at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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