South Africa 170 (JP Duminy 86*, Hashim Amla 41, Nathan McCullum 1-24) beat the BLACKCAPS 168-8 (Ross Taylor 62, Kane Williamson 51, Dale Steyn 4-17) by two runs.
The BLACKCAPS are ruing a golden chance to put South Africa away in their second match at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. After a solid start with the ball and in the field, JP Duminy's man of the match 86 not out took the Proteas to 170, more than the New Zealanders would have been happy with with four overs to go. In reply, Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (62) got the BLACKCAPS close, but a flurry of late wickets and a fired up Dale Steyn handed the win to South Africa by two runs.
The match began with the BLACKCAPS throwing a blanket of pressure over the South African batsmen and refused to let them out. There were diving stops, determined sprints to the boundary and smoking throws back to Luke Ronchi on a wicket that was favourable to the seamers.
The pressure was soon turned into wickets, with Kyle Mills breaking through in the third over, getting Quinton de Kock caught by Ronchi for four. Nathan McCullum took care of dangerous duo Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers cheaply to put the BLACKCAPS in a strong position early.
JP Duminy started to hit out from the 12th over, but Hashim Amla, who had struggled to really get going went in bizarre fashion when he hammered a straight drive that collected non-striker Duminy's bat and ballooned into the air for a caught and bowled to Corey Anderson.
From there Duminy took charge, and the Proteas were able to score 13, 17, 10 then 17 runs from the last four overs, taking them to 170, which is more than the BLACKCAPS were happy with after such a strong start with the ball.
Kane Williamson got the innings off to a solid start, putting on 57 for the first wicket with Martin Guptill, who made 22 from 25. Williamson was in devastating touch, finding the boundary regularly with a mix of power and guile. Brendon McCullum went cheaply to a great stumping from Imran Tahir to bring Ross Taylor to the crease.
Taylor found the boundary from the outset and was soon racing along at a strike rate of almost 200 and brought up his 1000th T20 International run during the innings. When Williamson went caught by de Villiers from Steyn, 53 were still needed from 39 deliveries and the BLACKCAPS would have fancied their chances.
Colin Munro played his trademark switch-hit shot, but soon after picked out a man in the deep and left for seven. Wickets fell regularly from that point in the face of a fired-up Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.
Needing seven from the last over, the BLACKCAPS lost first Ronchi and then Nathan McCullum, leaving Taylor a four to hit from the last. He was unable to get Steyn away and a loss by two runs will be a bitter pill to swallow after being in a dominant position. All eyes now turn to the Netherlands match, and beyond that, Sri Lanka to keep themselves alive in the tournament.