Auckland, Feb 17: South Africa rode on leg-spinner Imran Tahir’s career-best five-wicket haul to thrash New Zealand by 78 runs in the one-off Twenty20 cricket match at Eden Park here on Friday.
Put in to bat, opener Hashim Amla’s 43-ball 62 and skipper Faf du Plessis’ quickfire 36 helped South Africa pile up a huge 185/6 before Intertiol Cricket Council’s (ICC) T20 top-ranked Tahir’s 5/24 restricted the hosts to 107 in 14.5 overs.
Amla, who struck nine boundaries and a six along with du Plessis, put on 87 runs for the second wicket to help the Proteas reach the three-figure mark and recover from the early loss of opener Quinton de Kock (0).
Medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme then maged to break the partnership by removing du Plessis but cameos from AB de Villiers (26) and Jean Paul Duminy (29) helped the visitors reach the total.
In reply, the hosts were off to a dismal start and lost half their side with the score at 60. Tom Bruce was the top scorer for the Kiwis with 33 runs as only four of the batsmen maged to reach double figures.
While Tahir was the wrecker-in-chief with his five wickets, pacer Andile Phehlukwayo took three wickets and Chris Morris chipped in with two scalps.
Brief Scores: South Africa 185/6 (Hashim Amla 62, Faf du Plessis 36, Jean Paul Duminy 29, Trent Boult 2/8) beat New Zealand 107 (Tom Bruce 33, Tim Southee 20, Imran Tahir 5/24, Andile Phehlukwayo 3/19) by 78 runs.IANS