Canterbury v South Africans, T20, Christchurch February 15, 2012

Levi and Tsotsobe star in opening win

ESPNcricinfo staff

South Africans 150 for 6 (Levi 63, Worker 3-23) beat Canterbury 130 (Henry 42, Tsotsobe 4-18) by 20 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Richard Levi's half-century gave a powerful start to the South Africans' batting, before Lonwabo Tsotsobe's early hat-trick helped set up a 20-run win against Canterbury in Christchurch. The South Africans' tour opener wasn't all one-sided though, as their middle order stumbled and their bowlers were given a scare by a late cameo by Matt Henry.

After Canterbury chose to field, Levi gave the visitors a blazing start. He outscored Hashim Amla in an explosive opening stand as the South Africans raced to 80 for 0 in eight overs. The most productive over of the match was the fifth - 21 runs came off it as Levi started by slamming medium-pacer Logan van Beek for fours fours. He reached his fifty in the next over with a big six over midwicket but Levi's dismissal in the ninth over led to the visitors losing their way.

The next six overs yielded only 27 runs for the loss of Amla, Colin Ingram and captain AB de Villiers. The South Africans had looked set for at least 180 when Levi was in the middle, but they ended up with a relatively modest 150.

If Canterbury were buoyed by their efforts in the second half of the visitors' batting, their hopes were punctured by Tsotsobe's hat-trick. He ended the second over of the chase by dismissing the openers George Worker and Peter Fulton before returning to trap Shanan Stewart lbw with an incutter. In his third over, he took out highly rated youngster Tom Latham and by the end of his spell, Canterbury were at 24 for 4.

The match meandered along and the South Africans seemed headed for a huge victory before the No. 9, Henry, swung five sixes in a 17-ball 42 to briefly raise Canterbury's spirits. The fight was virtually over in the 18th over, though, as he edged a Morne Morkel yorker through to the keeper and Canterbury were bowled out with an over to spare.

de Villiers was thrilled with the successful start to the tour. "This was exactly what we needed," he said. "We needed a competitive challenge and all the credit to Canterbury's batsmen for fighting the way they did towards the end."

He was also pleased with the form of Levi and Tsotsobe. "Richard is a phenomenal batsman, he is an impact player and it is very exciting for us to have a player of his calibre at the top of the order.

"Lopsy has just been outstanding. I don't know how he does it so consistently, he just keeps taking wickets."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brian on February 16, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    Well done Lobsie! good luck for friday's match.

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2012, 7:36 GMT

    well done tsotsobe

    gud work ................same we dreaming againist nz

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    I though SA was average, but thats because they were against the Canterbury B team pretty much... Although it had rained the previous 2 days in CHCH and the pitch was wet, I thought they still would have done better... Interesting to see how they will handle spin on these slow pitches in the upcoming T20s

  • Dummy4 on February 16, 2012, 1:57 GMT

    Man, the Boks are going to have to play a lot better than that if they want to beat the Black Caps. Canterbury B nearly rolled them....

  • Dummy4 on February 15, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    Decent first hit out for SA, its never easy first up in foriegn conditions and can be happy to have a win under their belt. Levi and the bowlers played very well. NZ won't be scared of SA after this performance though. SA will have to play spin in NZ a lot better as I'm sure NZ will be fielding R Nicol, K Williamson, N McCullum & R Hira in their T20 XI after seeing how SA were unable to score freely off the Cantab spinners. Very excited about this SA tour and am hoping all 3 series will be hard fought!

  • Rashni on February 15, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Nice One! Hope we are even better on Friday :)

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