New Zealand 148-4 (Guptill 78no) beat
South Africa 147-6 (Duminy 41) by 6 wickets
First Twenty20 International, Wellington
Martin Guptill smashed a brilliant unbeaten 78 in 55 balls to hand New Zealand a six-wicket victory over South Africa in the first Twenty20 International in Wellington.
After South Africa closed on 147 for six, New Zealand reached their target with four balls to spare as Guptill hit five fours and four sixes in his match-winning innings.
He was well supported by Kane Williamson, who made 24 in 21 balls and James Franklin, whose unbeaten eight in four helped the hosts overcome the dismissals of Williamson and Colin de Grandhomme (1).
JP Duminy had earlier top scored for the Proteas with 41 and Justin Ontong made 32 to revive their innings after they had slipped to 52 for four.
Tim Southee (3-28) was the chief destroyer, dismissing debutant Richard Levi for 13 and then both Duminy and Ontong, who shared a 50-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Hashim Amla (19), Colin Ingram (0) and AB de Villiers (8) failed to give South Africa the start they would have wanted although they did at least finish with a flourish as Albie Morkel (13 not out) and Johan Botha (14 not out) added some quick runs at the death.
New Zealand then lost Rob Nicol (13) and Brendon McCullum (16) but Guptill at the other end dominated partnerships worth 49 and 41 respectively.
Morkel struck to run out Williamson after he had faced 21 balls and then had de Grandhomme caught by Levi but Guptll and Franklin held their nerve to give New Zealand a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The next game is on Sunday (19th February) in Hamilton.
© Cricket World 2012