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Proteas canter to victory

Durban: South Africa romped to an eight-wicket win over New Zealand in their opening Twenty20 International on Friday after the visitors slumped to their third-lowest T20 score.

South Africa needed just 12.1 overs to reach the target of 87.

Stand-in captain Faf du Plessis led South Africa home, finishing 38 not out.

For South Africa, Rory Kleinveldt took three for 18 and Robin Peterson scalped two for eight. Dale Steyn and Chris Morris took two wickets each.

Touring without former captain Ross Taylor, batsman Jesse Ryder and bowler Tim Southee, New Zealand gave international debuts to four players.

One of those, Durban-born batsman Colin Munro, top-scored with 23 but received little support from his teammates. Doug Bracewell remained unbeaten on 21 at the bottom of the batting order, but they were two of only three New Zealand batsmen to reach double figures. Bracewell’s late 21-run stand with Ronnie Hira for the ninth wicket was the highest partnership of the innings.

Seam bowlers Kleinveldt, Steyn and Ryan McLaren struck early for the home team as the visitors struggled with regular mistimed shots on a two-paced pitch in Durban.

Rob Nicol (3), Peter Fulton (9), McCullum and James Franklin (0) all went cheaply.

Captain Brendon McCullum was one of the senior batsmen who failed when he was caught off a top-edged pull to Rory Kleinveldt as New Zealand slipped to 36 for six at one stage before eventually succumbing to their third-lowest T20 total ever.