The BLACKCAPS fell short by 13 runs in their opening Super 8 match against South Africa at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
A brave 26 off 17 from Nathan McCullum got them within touching distance of South Africa’s total of 170 for four but it was too little too late with the BLACKCAPS ending the match on 157 for seven.
The BLACKCAPS were in with a chance but no batsmen could kick on and get the sizable total that was required. They were also undone by some brilliant South African fielding and tight bowling.
Herschelle Gibbs set the tone as he took a screamer at cover to remove Brendon McCullum in the first over for six.
A partnership of 44 followed between Jesse Ryder and Martin Guptill with the pair taking the total past 50. The introduction of spin led to the downfall of both batsmen with Guptill the first to go for 19, followed by Ryder for 33 - both caught off the bowling of Johan Botha.
Taylor (19) became Botha’s third victim thanks to Gibbs taking his second spectacular catch to have the BLACKCAPS teetering at 87 for four.
The run chase stuttered in the middle stages with Scott Styris (13), Gareth Hopkins (18) and Jacob Oram (0) struggling to make an impact
Nathan McCullum and Daniel Vettori fought valiantly but the challenge of 47 runs of 3.4 overs proved too great.
Earlier, South Africa made a lightening start after winning the toss and electing to bat, with openers Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith racing to 40 before Smith holed out for 14 off the bowling of Tim Southee.
Southee then played a part in the next wicket, taking a diving catch at third man to assist Jacob Oram with the removal of Kallis for 31 off 26 deliveries to have the South Africans looking shaky at 55 for two.
The BLACKCAPS then put the brakes on the scoring through Vettori and Oram and by the end of the tenth over only 66 runs had been conceded.
A few lusty blows by Gibbs got the scoreboard moving but the return of Nathan McCullum spelt his demise as the big hitting top order batsman went for one six too many and was caught at mid-wicket for 30 off 24.
That brought Albie Morkle to the crease and he got in to his work immediately, hitting a flurry of boundaries and along with anchor, AB de Villiers, propelled the scoring rate.
With 21 runs, including three sixes, taken from Southee’s penultimate over Morkel finished on 40 off 18. De Villiers was South Africa’s top scorer with an unbeaten 47 off 39.
Vettori was the standout bowler for the BLACKCAPS with just 21 runs coming from his four over spell.
The BLACKCAPS next match is against Pakistan on Sunday 1:30am (NZ time).