Azhar Mahmood's commanding all-round performance was the highlight of the Auckland Aces' eight-wicket win against Hampshire in the third qualifying match of the Karbonn Twenty20 Champions Cricket League.
After putting their opponents in to bat, the Aucklanders did well to restrict them to 121 for eight, thanks to Mahmood's five-wicket haul; and then they got the required runs in 14 and a half overs to register a resounding win.
The Aces opening pair of Martin Guptill and Lou Vincent built the platform with a quick fire 49-run partnership.
Then came Mahmood, who changed the match into a no-contest, hitting five boundaries to go with his four towering sixes during his unbeaten 55 off 31 balls to help his team race to the finish line.
With the victory, the Aces confirmed their passage to the main event of the 2012 League.
The Aces became the first New Zealand side to win a game at the Champions League after they beat the Sialkot Stallions by six wickets in their opening qualifier in Johannesburg.