A disciplined bowling effort enabled New Zealand to defeat South Africa by 21 runs in the opening match of the Emerging Players Twenty20 tournament in Brisbane.
Chasing a target of 153, the South Africans were in control at 1 for 79 after 12 overs. However, left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock's dismissal of opener JJ Smuts for 43 triggered a mini-collapse and three wickets fell for seven runs. The pace of scoring slowed down and the innings stuttered to 6 for 131 off 20 overs, with no New Zealand bowler conceding more than seven runs an over.
The New Zealand total of 8 for 152 was possible due to Dean Brownlie and Shanan Stewart who shared a 62-run stand for the third wicket in 5.4 overs. Stewart hit three sixes in his 45 off 22 deliveries, while Brownlie hit five fours in 55 off 38. The rest of the batsmen struggled, with six of them dismissed in single digits. South African fast bowler Cornelius de Villiers took 3 for 25 in four overs.
India's bowlers kept their nerve in a tense finish as the Australian Institute of Sports finished two runs short of the target of 169 despite two batsmen scoring half-centuries and having five wickets in hand.
At 137 for 5, the Australians needed 32 runs off 28 deliveries and had the chase under control. However, they could score only 29 of those 32 runs as Ajinkya Rahane's over went for just four. Earlier, Jaidev Unadkat had reduced the Australians to 44 for 3 but they recovered through a 72-run stand between Luke Pomersbach and James Faulkner that came in 7.5 overs. Pomersbach was run out by Manish Pandey after making 59 off 36 balls with six fours and three sixes. Faulkner finished on an unbeaten 52 off 42 with four sixes but failed to take his side to victory as they finished on 166 for 5.
The Indian innings had a quick start with Shikhar Dhawan and captain Parthiv Patel putting on 90 in 9.2 overs. Dhawan made 58 off 37 balls with five fours and a six while Patel got 39 off 27 with four fours and a six. Allrounder James Pattinson was the best Australian bowler, taking 2 for 30 off his four overs. Pandey hit two sixes in his unbeaten 32 as India scored 168 for 4.