South Africa got their tour of New Zealand off to the best possible start on Friday, humiliating the home side in their only T20I at Eden Park in Auckland.
The Proteas, riding on the back of Hashim Amla’s 62 in 43 balls and JP Duminy’s quick-fire 29 off 16 deliveries, posted a challenging 185/6 in their 20 overs, after New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl.
In reply, New Zealand made a mockery of the chase and were bundled out for 107, handing South Africa a 78-run victory. A fifer from Imran Tahir and a double-wicket maiden for Chris Morris plotted Black Caps’s downfall. Andile Phehlukwayo also impressed with figures 3-19 in 3 overs.
The hosts’ horror show started when debutant Glenn Phillips could only manage 5 runs to his name before falling to Morris. Morris struck again on the very next delivery, cleaning up Colin Munro for a golden duck.
Skipper Kane Williamson had a big responsibility of building the innings, but he failed, contributing only 13 runs before holing out to Wayne Parnell off Phehlukwayo. The exciting Phehlukwayo bagged his second wicket of the game in form of Corey Anderson, who could just manage 10 runs.
Morris and Phehlukwayo laid the perfect platform for Tahir to rule the proceedings, and the leg-spinner did exactly what was expected from him. Tahir first knocked off Tom Bruce (33 off 27), before getting wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi on the very next ball.
Phehlukwayo bagged his third of the night in form of Mitchell Santner, who made 5 off 6 balls. Colin de Grandhomme gave the Auckland crowd some reason to smile with some lusty blows out of the park, but soon became Tahir’s third victim.
With the dismissal of Grandhomme, the veteran leggie, the world's No 1-ranked T20 bowler, grabbed his 50th T20I wicket. Tahir didn’t stop there and removed tail-enders Ben Wheeler (6) and Southee (20) in the same over to hand the visitors a memorable 78-run win. The wily leg-spinner ended with match figures 5-24.
The teams now move on to a five-match One-Day International (ODI) series, starting on Sunday in Hamilton.