South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Twenty20, Durban December 21, 2012

South Africa hammer woeful New Zealand


South Africa 87 for 2 (du Plessis 38*) beat New Zealand 86 (Kleinveldt 3-18, Peterson 2-8) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

It is early days for New Zealand in South Africa, but in the opening Twenty20 at Kingsmead there was a gulf between the teams that does not bode well for the tour. New Zealand crumbled for 86, only just avoiding a new record low in the format, before the home side cantered to their target with more than seven overs to spare.

A callow batting order, with much resting on new captain Brendon McCullum, was always likely to struggle, especially after just one warm-up match to prepare but it was still a hugely disappointing effort. South Africa, though, under a new captain and coach, looked primed for the home season with their only sour note when debutant Chris Morris picked up a leg injury.

It was obvious that Ross Taylor's absence would leave a vast hole and Martin Guptill was also ruled out of this match with a stomach bug, but the top order did not give itself much of a chance on a slightly two-paced surface. The batsmen paid the price for too much aggression too early, perhaps in an eagerness to exploit the Powerplay. Doug Bracewell, at No. 9, made an unbeaten 21 to at least lift them over the 80 they made against Pakistan in 2010.

Rory Kleinveldt struck with his first ball with one that bounced a touch more against Rob Nicol to give Quinton de Kock, the debutant wicketkeeper, his first catch. De Kock, who turned 20 earlier this week, was one of seven new caps (three for South Africa, four for New Zealand) handed out between the teams for this match as the sides looked to start afresh after a poor World Twenty20.

Dale Steyn had Peter Fulton caught at mid-on before Kleinveldt claimed the key wicket of McCullum who top-edged a hook and was well caught by Steyn running backwards from short fine-leg. After the six-over Powerplay, New Zealand were already tottering at 27 for 3 and it didn't get better although James Franklin may have received a harsh decision with suggestions the ball brushed his arm when attempting to hook.

Morris, another of the debutants, claimed his first international scalp when Corey Anderson, also in his first match, clubbed to mid-off and later added Colin Munro who at least had shown some decent shot-selection before slogging across the line. However, Morris could not complete his allocation after suffering what appeared to be a muscle strain with two balls remaining. Last week he was ruled out of the domestic one-day final with a quad injury so questions will be asked about whether he was ready for this match.

Between Morris's two wickets spin also made a mark as Robin Peterson gained from the slightly tricky nature of the surface. However, it was nowhere near as tough as the scoreline suggested. With New Zealand left to try and bat out the overs - which they failed to do - Peterson was able to collect South Africa's most economical figures in Twenty20 (2 for 8).

South Africa's chase did not start smoothly when the under-pressure Richard Levi edged Mitchell McClenaghan, a left-arm seamer to add to the plethora of that style New Zealand can call on, to first slip but captain Faf du Plessis and Henry Davids, making his debut at the age of 32, were soon into their stride.

Davids was off the mark with a ungainly hack which he edged past leg stump but also sliced a six over deep point while du Plessis drove beautifully through the off side. De Kock, who has come into the international amid much hype, began in eye-catching style by lofting his third ball straight down the ground and showed a touch of class through the off side.

To compound New Zealand's problems some of their ground fielding would have shamed a club side. It really was a horrid evening for them. Twenty20 was meant to be a format where they might, just, have pushed South Africa but on this evidence that theory appears far-fetched.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lermy on December 23, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    Great result in second match. Very close, but good to see NZ compete and see it through!!!

  • Waikato_FC on December 23, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    I've never understood the tall poppy attacks on Brendon McCullum - how many other batsmen in t20 cricket average 35 at such a high strikerate? That's a massively impressive record. And those saying he rarely performs, and then goes for a long time without getting a score, so 91 v India and 123 v Bangladesh in consecutive innings don't count then? Then again, that was all the way back in September, which to some posters seems a long time ago. If they were to be believed every batsman would average 100 as they're expected to score 100 each time.

  • Lermy on December 23, 2012, 0:50 GMT

    Maybe if NZ have enough injuries they'll be forced to field Shane Bond again. He can't last any less time than the other bowlers can he??? Could be the best thing to happen. Lol. There must be an injury virus going around that is spread by national selection!!

  • PDV1 on December 22, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Shocking lack of cricket intelligence from the Black Caps. Just not playing the conditions. If NZ think they can come out swinging in SA and not build an innings sensibly this won't be the last time they get bowled out for under a 100. Given the fact that NZ used to be, under Stephen Fleming, one of the shrewdest sides in world cricket, this really is a sad decline. Agree with CricketStargazer that the world needs a strong Kiwi side so I hope things get sorted behind the scenes.

  • Munkeymomo on December 22, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    There were some horrible shots from the Kiwis, Corey Andersons dismissal almost made me cringe. Try and take as made positives as you can though, Mitch McCleneghan was superb with the ball, Munro looked assured but needed support and Jimmy Neesham batted with confidence. The wicket was tough but they didn't adapt. From SA point of view, Chris Morris looked very good and Faf played very well in his first captain game. Levi is just an awful batsman though, I never saw his hundred but there must have been some abysmal bowling.

  • dummy4fb on December 22, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    I think it's time that NZ implements the following rule:

    If you are not prepared to represent NZ in the most prestigious form of the game, Test cricket, then you will not represent NZ in the form of the game most likely to get you exposure for an IPL contract (T20).

    People who don't want to put in the hard yards for NZ Cricket shouldn't get the opportunity to take it for a ride by turning up when it suits them. If your body won't hold up to Test cricket, we'll use the T20s to give other youngsters international exposure and you can go have a rest until you feel up to it again.

    If we lose, then we lose. But at least we show people that we aren't mucking around and we have people in the team who want to be there.

  • dummy4fb on December 22, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    The way NZ fielded they put the entire cricket world into shame.

  • dummy4fb on December 22, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    If NZ could field a test squad of

    Guptill, McCullum (wk), Ryder, Taylor, Williamson, Brownlie, Franklin, Vetorri, Bracewell, Southee, Wagner/Boult

    It would be pretty useful. South Africa will be stronger of course. But that lineup is enough to challenge any team. However, NZ cricket continually going down hill will never select a side like that. McCullum needs to buck up and put the gloves back on. Gives us another genuine batsmen unlike vanwyk who is only capable of getting 30s.

  • dummy4fb on December 22, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    At what stage will NZ cricket question the automatic selection of Brendan McCullum? We all know that he is capable of playing the occasional extraordinary innings but we also know that it is only through consistency that batsmen become recognised as great. He has has more chances than most and is yet to live up to any of the promise that his occasional top innings suggest. His averages across all formats of the game suggest a mediocre batsmen at best.

  • LillianThomson on December 22, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    Even without the injured Southee and Vettori, NZ Cricket under more pragmatic leadership could have fielded a team for next months Tests which could live with South Africa.

    Consider: 1. Guptill, 2. McCullum, 3. Brownlie, 4. Taylor, 5. Ryder, 6. Watling, 7. Oram (!), 8. Van Wyk (wk), 9, Bracewell, 10. Wagner, 11. Boult.

    That would be a pretty competitive eleven.

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