Centurion:Aaron Finch stole the show with a breezy unbeaten 93 and single-handedly powered Victoria to a sensational seven-wicket win over Central District in their second Group A match of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday.
Finch was at his destructive best as he clobbered the bowlers for 11 fours and three sixes en route his 60-ball match-winning innings.
The 23-year-old right-hander was ably supported by Victoria skipper David Hussey and Andrew McDonald, who made an identical 17-ball 18.
Chasing Central District's challenging 166-run target, Victoria rode on Finch's brilliance to romp home in 19.4 overs and bring back their campaigning on track after the opening 28-run loss against Warriors in the Twenty20 event.
For Central District it is their second consecutive defeat in the tournament after their 57-run loss to Chennai Super Kings and now stands in the brink of elimination.
Earlier, riding on captain Jamie How's unbeaten 77, Central District overcame a scratchy start to post a competitive 165 for five.
How decorated his 55-ball unconquered stay at the crease with 10 fours and three sixes.
Victoria started their chase on a steady fashion with Rob Quiney and Aaron Finch adding 40 runs in 4.3 overs.
But if not for butterfingered wicket-keeper Tim Weston the scenario could have been different as he dropped a regulation catch off Quiney in the fourth over.
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 as the lucky bowler for Central Districts as his next over too produced an wicket but this time, courtesy a run out. Victoria wicket-keeper Mathew Wade was the unlucky batsman in contention who fall to a mix up with Finch.
Finch, however, remained steady at the other hand and dealt mostly in singles and twos with occasional boundaries in between.
Together with captain David 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 Kiwi side as Woker dropped dangerman Finch on 43 off his own bowling.
But just when it seemed the match was slowly going away from Central Districts grip, Doug Bracewell came up with the big wicket of Hussey, caught by Weston of a short delivery.
Finch and Andrew McDonald tried to use their long handle to the maximum with Victoria needing 48 of the last four overs.
The duo hit some lusty blows and managed to 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 of the last over, Finch edged Bracewell to the thirdman boundary in the opening ball and then after two singles, the right-hander finished 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 opening over of Peter Siddle.
How took the onus on himself to guide his team out of danger and build two crucial partnerships -- first with George Worker (29 off 25) and then with Brendon Diamanti (19 off 11) to take the Kiwi side past 150-mark.
Together with Worker, How first resurrected the Central Districts with a 48-ball 53-run 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 maintained control over the major part of the proceedings.
However, a determined How's blazing blade spoiled their party in the end with Central District piling up 67 runs in the last six overs.
For Victoria, Peter Siddle, who returned after a seven-and-a-half months' lay-off, was exceptional upfront, picking up two Central Districts batsmen in the very first over of the match.