New Zealand v South Africa, T20I, Auckland February 17, 2017

Tahir, Amla headline South Africa's clinical win


South Africa 185 for 6 (Amla 62, Du Plessis 36, Boult 2-8) beat New Zealand 107 (Bruce 33, Tahir 5-24, Phehlukwayo 3-19,Morris 2-10) by 78 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Highlights - Tahir closes out SA victory

It won't come close to making up for losing that World Cup semi-final but South Africa emerged the victors at Eden Park this time, and in convincing style. In turn it ended New Zealand's unbeaten home season as they slumped to 107 in the chase, set back by two early wickets for Chris Morris and finished off by Imran Tahir's career-best 5 for 24.

Hashim Amla's classy 62 formed the centrepiece of South Africa's 185 for 6 and if that felt a little underwhelming after a sticky final five overs, a double-wicket maiden by Morris soon had New Zealand on the back foot. He was followed Andile Phehlukwayo, who took three wickets, but the finishing touches belonged to Tahir, the No. 1 T20 and ODI bowler, as he became the second-quickest to 50 T20I wickets and was the second man on a hat-trick for the innings. It may not have been the hardest of five-fors for him, but that didn't dim the celebrations.

For all Tahir's success to end the match, the Powerplay difference was telling: South Africa made 56 for 1 - as Amla scooted away - while New Zealand sat at 34 for 2 on the back of losing debutant Glenn Phillips and Colin Munro in consecutive balls to Morris whose second over was also a maiden. Phillips could be forgiven for his nervy innings, but Munro's swing across the line of a full delivery was ugly for a more experienced player.

Dane Paterson, who played ahead of the rested Kagiso Rabada, helped set the tone with just seven runs coming off his first 11 deliveries - like Morris, hitting a back-of-a-length area and getting a bit of zip under the lights - before Tom Bruce took him for six.

But New Zealand couldn't break free and Phehlukwayo strengthened South Africa's position when he had Kane Williamson taken at deep square-leg. It was soon a full-fledged collapse as Corey Anderson and Bruce fell swinging and Luke Ronchi nicked his first ball from Tahir who became the third South Africa bowler to take five wickets in a T20I.

It was a little remarkable that there was a match at all given the volume of rain which had fallen in two days. There was some early swing but Amla, one of the South Africa players rested from the T20 series against Sri Lanka, batted serenely. He took a liking to Ben Wheeler's first two overs, collecting six boundaries in all including four in a row at the start of the fifth over. He zipped to his half-century off 32 balls, was given a life on 61 when Ronchi missed a stumping but fell shortly afterwards when he hoicked into the deep.

Faf du Plessis, who enjoyed a productive home season, added 87 off 51 balls for the second wicket with Amla and he twice deposited Mitchell Santner into the stands straight down the ground. He was given a life on 34, when Santner made a mess of a skier at point, but fell the next over. By then, however, the platform had been set for South Africa to press for 200.

After Amla fell, AB de Villiers was just threatening to go through the gears when he lofted Colin de Grandhomme to mid-off midway through the 16th over and South Africa couldn't quite summon the finish that had been on the cards despite JP Duminy's best efforts.

The final five overs brought 46 runs and included the completion of an outstanding four overs from Trent Boult. Earlier he had removed Quinton de Kock for a duck, during an opening two-over spell which cost two runs, then returned to bowl the 11th for just four (and was the bowler to suffer from Santner's drop) then finished his quota with a two-run 19th over. It gave him the second-most economical return by a New Zealand paceman in T20Is. But that was the only bright spot for them.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • A.J on February 20, 2017, 23:27 GMT

    The great Martin Crowe once said "if you don't have aces play jokers". That's why you need Munro/Neesham/CDG/Anderson. If you play the likes of Broom/Latham you'll consistently be lacking competitiveness. If you have jokers you at least have a chance a couple of them come off and the more they play, the better they inevitably get which was the case with the overrated McCullum in ODI's. Munro and Neesham have suffered from been in and out for years which is the worst for a hitter. Guys like Broom were given 30 odd games to achive nothing and then recalled again to make some runs against the worst bowling attack in the world, only to now have 2 successive failures and now 3 from his last four innings being complete failures.

  • aglubbnz on February 18, 2017, 10:55 GMT

    The selectors should know that plenty of all rounders should be picked in 20/20. Clearly, they are not doing their job by failing to take note of domestic 20/20 comps and successful trends. My 20/20 side with Guptill injured would have been: Brownlie Kane Taylor Bruce Neesham Ronchi (20/20 only) de Grandhomme Santner Sodhi Ferguson Boult That's 7 bowlers (Kane included). It's plain silly that Sodhi was left out - our second best bowler. Need a new 20/20 captain. Kane should not captain this format.

  • lambrs9680839 on February 18, 2017, 10:37 GMT

    Anyone who rises to any of aussiensw's bait needs to be panfried and served on skewers. That guy has a chip on his shoulder the size of David Warner's bat and ego combined! Leave his line untouched and maybe he'll learn to write something sensible. NZ definitely had a bad day - that is a thrashing in anyone's book. Haven't the selectors seen enough of Munro to realise that he hasn't got it at the top level? He has four scores in 29 innings and the rest of the time he averages under 10!

  • Jay on February 18, 2017, 10:24 GMT

    @AUSSIENSW Last i checked we were still Number 1 in t20's. A bad day is a bad day and SA played very well. Credit to them. Better team won on the day.

    It only becomes significant if it is a trend. If we lose the ODI series as badly, then i'll consider it significant. But one match is one match.

    Lets look at your Australian cricket team, who got hammered in that first test against SA but rebounded. The people who wrote them off after that first test ended up with egg on their faces.

    Anyone who thinks a series is decided in one game is foolish. And boy, there are a lot of foolish over-reactions in these comments from other Black Caps fans. Even some as daft as suggesting Anderson for NZ captain. People get so silly so quickly these days with cricket.

    SA are a bogey team for NZ though. There record against us is exceptional. I'm not hugely confident of a good result as they are the single best touring team in NZ and play very well in our conditions.

  • Steven on February 18, 2017, 8:12 GMT

    @Antony_Lucas thats the best part of his celebrations. It can be a #10 with the game already won a centurion when the game is lost. He celbrates his way for his wickets. I can see how it could be anoying but its plain for all to see the guys loves this game. Maybe my opinion would be different if he wasnt on my team but you got to love the joy he shows. Even his own team mates laugh at him and i dont think its a send off or anything

  • pratee2082377 on February 18, 2017, 6:55 GMT

    Kane is not good captain. Make some one else captain of NZ. An all-rounder can be a good option for captaincy. Neesham or Anderson.

  • henry on February 18, 2017, 6:47 GMT

    Just a reminder to mr hesson regarding your comment that Guppy was your bigger loss...guppy didnt play against the Bangladesh cause of injury.

  • Wayne on February 18, 2017, 6:46 GMT

    One day the rooster the next day the feather duster for the black caps. Surely this hammering means something significant to you kiwis? After all it apparently meant heaps when Australia lost to you after they left half their ODI squad out a couple of weeks ago. Feels great when you're #1 and get beaten by the selectors before you even set foot on the paddock doesn't it!!!

  • Rupert on February 18, 2017, 5:05 GMT

    Heaven help us when we get to the tests. Our test record against SA is worse than that against any other country. Wouldn't be surprised if we are 0-5 or 1-4 in the ODIs, either.

  • siddharth110575 on February 18, 2017, 4:14 GMT

    @ Chris_P - I agree in 2007-08 IND was nowhere close to a series win. However 2003-04 was a different story, it was much closer than you seem to give it credit for. In the decider IND gave themselves too less time to bowl AUS out, and then that stumping reprieve to Ponting early on day 5 which could have changed the script. But yes end of the day, fact remains IND have never won a series in AUS (or SA) and they wont be counted as a truly great side till they achieve that result.

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