Aaron Finch stole the limelight with a breezy, unbeaten 93 as he single-handedly powered Victoria to a sensational seven-wicket victory over Central Districts in their second Group A match in the Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament in Centurion on Wednesday.
Finch was at his destructive best as he clobbered the bowlers for 11 fours and three sixes en route to a 60-ball match-winning innings.
The 23-year-old right-hander was ably supported by Victoria skipper David Hussey and Andrew McDonald, who both scored 18 off 17 balls.
Chasing Central Districts' challenging 166-run target, Victoria rode on Finch's brilliance to romp home in 19.4 overs and get their campaign back on track after the 28-run loss to Warriors.
It was Central Districts' second consecutive defeat in the tournament after the 57-run loss to Chennai Super Kings.
Earlier, riding on captain Jamie How's unbeaten 77, Central Districts overcame a scratchy start to post a competitive 165 for five.
How's 55-ball unconquered stay at the crease was laced with 10 fours and three sixes.
Victoria started their chase steadily, Rob Quiney and Finch adding 40 runs in 4.3 overs. Had butter-fingered wicketkeeper Tim Weston not dropped a regulation catch off Quiney in the fourth over, the scenario could have been different.
But it was not to be Quiney's day, as he failed to cash in on the opportunity and clipped one straight to Michael Mason at short-fine leg off Seth Rance in the next over.
Rance seemed to emerge the lucky bowler for Central Districts, as his next over too produced a wicket, though, this time, it was courtesy a run-out.
Victoria wicketkeeper Mathew Wade was the unlucky batsman to be dismissed following a mix-up with Finch.
Finch, however, was steady at the other hand and dealt mostly in singles and twos, with occasional boundaries in between.
Together with Hussey, he stitched a 51-run third wicket stand to keep the Australian side in the reckoning.
However, poor fielding was the order of the day for the Kiwis, as Woker dropped danger man Finch on 43 off his own bowling.
But just when it seemed the match was slowly slipping away from Central Districts' grip, Doug Bracewell came up with the big wicket of Hussey, having him caught by Weston off a short delivery.
Finch and Andrew McDonald tried to use their long handle to the maximum with Victoria needing 48 from the last four overs. The duo hit some lusty blows and brought down the equation to 25 off the last two overs.
Finch was at his attacking best as he welcomed Mason with a lofty hit over extra cover in the penultimate over to bring down the asking rate.
With 12 runs needed off the last over, Finch edged Bracewell to the third-man boundary off the opening ball and then, after two singles, the right-hander completed the run-chase with a lofty hit over long-on.
Earlier, electing to bat, How led from the front with an unbeaten 77 to take Central Districts to a challenging score after they were two wickets down in the Peter Siddle's opening over.
How took the onus upon himself to guide his team out of danger and built two crucial partnerships -- first with George Worker (29 off 25) and then Brendon Diamanti (19 off 11) to take the Kiwis past the 150-mark.
Together with Worker, How first lifted Central Districts with a 48-ball 53-run in a fourth-wicket stand and then added a quickfire 33-ball 66 along with Diamanti to give his bowlers a defendable score.
But irrespective of the scorecard, it was Victoria's bowlers who were in control for a major part of the proceedings.
However, a determined How's blazing blade spoilt their party in the end as Central Districts amassed 67 runs in the last six overs.
For Victoria, Siddle, who returned to the game after a seven-and-a-half months' lay-off, was exceptional upfront, picking two Central Districts