Northamptonshire notched a victory and a defeat - by the same seven-run margin - against Essex at the start of their Second XI T20 campaign at Wantage Road on Friday.
Former New Zealand paceman Ian Butler appeared in the first of the two matches which ended in victory for the County, the Kiwi claiming 2-28 and Muhammad Azharullah 4-32 as Essex closed on 164-7 in reply to Northamptonshire's 171-5.
Ben Foakes hit a superb 109 for the visitors in an odd-looking scorecard which saw no-one else reach 20!
Northamptonshire's total owed much to Rob Newton who top-scored with 69, while David Willey, Matt Spriegel and Ben Duckett all got into the 20s.
Essex then gained revenge in the second game, amassing 163-8 in their 20 overs thanks to useful contributions from Mark Pettini, Foakes again and young hopeful Kishen Velani.
The County responded with 156-7 - Newton (64) and Duckett (26) playing the only innings of note.
Northamptonshire entertain Leicestershire in the same competition at Wantage Road on Monday (May 12).