The confident New Zealanders reminded South Africa their form while clinching the first Twenty20 from the visitors by six wickets.
The Proteas scored reasonable 147 runs for the loss of six wickets in 20 overs and the Black Caps replied by posting 148 on board with six wickets in hand in 19.2 overs.
Martin Guptill was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his attacking knock of 78 scored off just 55 balls. The first match of the three T20 series was held at Westpac Stadium, Wellington, on February 17, 2012.
Earlier, the Kiwi’s Captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and put the rivals in to bat while preferring to chase. South Africa started off nicely but their star batsman Hashim Amla was run out with an excellent attempt from Guptill for 19 runs. The first wicket fell at 24 in 3.3 overs when the rival bowlers blew away their four top order batsmen for mere 52 runs in nine overs.
Jean-Paul Duminy and Justin Ontong stabilized the innings as the score board kept creeping by adding 23 runs in the next five overs. Ontong came at his own by dispatching four back to back sixes in the 15th over bowled by Kane Williamson and enhanced the run rate instantly. He lost his wicket in the very next over for 32 runs off 17 balls which included four towering sixes.
Duminy contributed 41 runs off 37 balls with 3 fours and nominal score was added by the late order batsmen. The allotted quota of 20 overs was utilized by scoring 147 runs with four wickets in hand.
Tim Southee was the star performer with three wickets, Nathan McCullum and Ronnie Hira chipped in with one wicket each.
Martin Guptill continued with his outstanding form which he had exhibited in the recently concluded series against the touring Zimbabwe. He scored his first boundary in the second over and sent the ball reeling and flying over the ropes once in the next over. Rob Nicol was dropped on the last ball of the third over by the wicket keeper AB de Villiers once he had scored two runs.
Guptill kept on with the offence by attaining 13 runs in the sixth over which included two sixes. The openers accumulated 49 runs for the first wicket in 7.1 overs as Nicol was gone for 13 runs when Amla grasped a running catch at long-on. Guptill achieved his sixth consecutive fifty for New Zealand in style by smashing a six on the fourth ball of the 10th over.
Williamson was the other batsman who pushed the scoring by adding 24 runs to his credit but Guptill proved his class by thrashing unbeaten 78 runs off 55 balls which comprised four escalated sixes and 5 fours. The required target was ensured on the second ball of the 20th over when James Franklin secured a boundary.
Morne Morkal, Rusty Theron and Duminy were the bowlers who impressed with the ball by claiming one wicket each.
New Zealand won the match convincingly by six wickets and is leading the three T20’s series 1-0. The second match will be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton on February 19, 2012, the home side will concentrate to win and paste the series in their favour.