A devastating bowling and fielding performance saw defending champions the Otago Volts open their season with a ruthless win at Hagley Oval.
The Canterbury Wizards were meanwhile left ruing rusty fielding - in contrast to that of their match-hardened opposition - as a string of missed opportunities on the boundary cost them the chance to hobble their southern rivals after sending them in.
Pace bowlers Matt Henry and Hamish Bennett had deserved better, delivering on a deck that demanded a tight length. Henry produced an early shockwave when star opener Jesse Ryder skied the ball to a grateful Ellis at mid-off. When the young right-armer snuck one through Neil Broom's defences in his second over, he had two dangermen back in the shed at low cost.
Undeterred, Aaron Redmond and Derek de Boorder recovered well to be 92-2 at the midway mark, but Ronnie Hira and Logan van Beek (3-19 off three) proved a handful. Hira yorked the aggressive Redmond, ending a 70-run stand, while van Beek removed de Boorder (43) before claiming Ryan ten Doeschate and Michael Bracewell in the space of three balls in a golden death spell.
Boundaries having dried up in the last eight overs, the Volts may have felt short-changed closing off at 168-9, but quickly got themselves back in the game as the Wizards crumbled to 54-5 in the 11th over. The required run rate escalating to two-a-ball, hometown hopes rested on a rescue act by BLACKCAPS Rob Nicol (31) and Ellis. However, they too were soon gone, Sam Wells taking his third catch of the evening to dismiss Ellis on 19.
The Wizards were bowled out for 121 in the 18th over, Mark Craig (3-29) and Neil Wagner (a classy 2-11) standing out in a strong team bowling effort that took the Volts to familiar territory at the top of the points table.