Durban:Jamie How scored 90 on Sunday to help New Zealand reach 248-6 in the first of three one-day internationals against South Africa.
How hit 11 fours in 124 balls before edging a delivery from Andre Nel onto his stumps in the 48th over.
Nel was the best of South Africa's bowlers. He clean bowled Gareth Hopkins with the next delivery after dismissing How, and also had Scott Styris (40) caught by Johan Botha at midwicket after top-edging a pull shot to finish 3-46.
South Africa won the toss and chose to bat at Kingsmead Stadium.
Opener Brendon McCullum survived a lot of movement through the air in overcast conditions and off the pitch to score a battling 40 off 67 balls after Lou Vincent was bowled by Makhaya Ntini for 6.
Mathew Sinclair, who was hit on the helmet by a bouncer from Ntini, hit an undefeated 32 off 23 balls late in the innings to give New Zealand a defendable total.
Shaun Pollock conceded just 21 runs in his 10 overs, but the other bowlers were expensive. Albie Morkel conceded 54 runs for a single wicket, while Ntini went for 62 off nine overs.
South Africa won the test series against New Zealand 2-0, and the Twenty20 international by three wickets on Friday.