South Africa beats NZ by 8 wickets in opening T20

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An experimental South Africa team romped to an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in their opening Twenty20 game after the Black Caps slumped to their third-lowest T20 score in a dismal start to their tour.

South Africa needed just 12.1 overs yesterday to reach 87-2 and overhaul New Zealand’s 86 all out. Left badly exposed by the absence of experienced players themselves — including former captain Ross Taylor — New Zealand needed 23 from debutant Colin Munro to help it past its record low in 20-over games, 80 all out against Pakistan in 2010.

Seamer Rory Kleinvedlt (3-18) and left-arm spinner Robin Peterson (2-8) did the bowling damage for the Proteas while stand-in captain Faf du Plessis led South Africa home in his first game in charge, hitting the winning runs and finishing 38 not out.

Wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock was 28 not out on his international debut. “No complaints, it was a fantastic game for us. Very happy,” Du Plessis said. “It’s the standard we’ve set, but the standard we have to keep for the remainder of the series.”

Desperate to perform well under new skipper Brendon McCullum and put aside the controversy over the exit of Taylor as captain, New Zealand’s relatively experienced top order all failed and left the four debutants it fielded in the series-opener with little chance to revive the innings.

McCullum was one of the failures as he fell for six to a relentless South African seam attack. The visitors were 36-6 at one stage before the South African-born Munro and then tailender Doug Bracewell (21 not out) gave them some small respectability.

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