Imran Tahir spun his web against the Kiwis as his five-wicket haul took the visitors to a 78-run win in the one-off T20 match at Eden Park, Auckland, on Friday. South Africa were in control of the proceedings after posting 185 for 6 in 20 overs. The Proteas were in a spot of bother after losing Quinton de Kock (0) early in the innings, but South African captain Faf du Plessis took control of the situation and made a quick-fire 36 off 25 balls. Along with Hashim Amla (62) he had put the visitors back on track.
New Zealand could only manage 107 in reply to South Africa's mammoth total, thanks to a brilliant spell by Tahir who returned with figures of 5 for 24.
"It's a very special feeling," Tahir said after his man-of-the-match performance at Eden Park, only the third five-wicket haul by a South African in a T20 international.
Andile Phehlukwayo also made his presence felt by claiming three wickets as South Africa won the match by 78 runs.
The New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was disappointed with the result and admitted the fact that his team was outplayed in all three departments of the game.
"It's frustrating from our perspective, we didn't really fire a shot," he said.
"It's important we learn from this and move on."
After losing the toss, South Africa made a flying start with the bat then backed it up with a strong bowling performance.
Amla made the most of Eden Park's short boundaries to smash 62 off 43 balls, receiving support from skipper Faf du Plessis (36) and JP Duminy (29).
They looked set to make 200-plus but Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme put the brakes on with two wickets apiece.
Boult was the one standout for New Zealand, conceding only eight runs in his four overs.
With danger man Martin Guptill injured and Ross Taylor controversially omitted from the T20 side, the Black Caps' woes with the bat were apparent.
Chris Morris made a perfect start with two wickets in his first two balls for South Africa, coaxing an edge of debutant Glen Mitchell then skittling Colin Munro with his next ball.
Phehlukwayo then took Williamson's wicket with a short delivery and dismissed Corey Anderson in his next over.
Not to be outdone, Tahir dispatched Tom Bruce (33) and Luke Ronchi (0) in successive deliveries, before wrapping up the tail.
The first one-dayer will be played in Hamilton on Friday.
(With AFP Inputs)