It won't come close to making up for losing that World Cup semi-final but South Africa emerged the victors at Eden Park this time, and in convincing style. In turn it ended New Zealand's unbeaten home season as they slumped to 107 in the chase, set back by two early wickets for Chris Morris and finished off by Imran Tahir's career-best 5 for 24.
Hashim Amla's classy 62 formed the centrepiece of South Africa's 185 for 6 and if that felt a little underwhelming after a sticky final five overs, a double-wicket maiden by Morris soon had New Zealand on the back foot. He was followed Andile Phehlukwayo, who took three wickets, but the finishing touches belonged to Tahir, the No. 1 T20 and ODI bowler, as he became the second-quickest to 50 T20I wickets and was the second man on a hat-trick for the innings.
For all Tahir's success to end the match, the Powerplay difference was telling: South Africa made 56 for 1 - as Amla scooted away - while New Zealand sat at 34 for 2 on the back of losing debutant Glenn Phillips and Colin Munro in consecutive balls to Morris whose second over was also a maiden. Phillips could be forgiven for his nervy innings, but Munro's swing across the line of a full delivery was ugly for a more experienced player.
Dane Paterson, who played ahead of the rested Kagiso Rabada, helped set the tone with just seven runs coming off his first 11 deliveries - like Morris, hitting a back-of-a-length area and getting a bit of zip under the lights - before Tom Bruce took him for six.