South Africa have opened their tour of New Zealand with an exciting win, beating the Canterbury Wizards by 20 runs in tonight's Twenty20 match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Defending a competitive total of 150 on a difficult batting wicket, South Africa got off to a dream start when speedster Lonwabo Tsotsobe picked up a hat trick with his first ball of the third over.
Canterbury continued to struggle through their early innings before a spirited 54 run partnership between Matt Henry and Matt McEwan put them back in contention with some thrilling hitting. But when Henry fell to a super catch behind from AB de Villiers off the bowling of Albie Morkel the writing was on the wall.
It was a great way for South Africa to open their tour, and will be encouraging for coach Gary Kirsten heading into Friday's T20 international with New Zealand.
Canterbury won the toss and put South Africa into bat and they got off to a blistering start with openers Richard Levi smashing his way to 63 (32) and Amla 35 (33) in the early overs.
But some fine bowling from young spinners George Worker (3-23) and Tim Johnston (1-24) from their respective four over spells put the breaks on and paved a way back into the game for the Wizards.
South Africa then lost four wickets in a six over spell in the middle of the innings, before finishing strongly through Jean Paul Duminy 24 (22) and posting a competitive score of 150.
Canterbury struggled early on and were on the back foot when George Worker was caught at mid-off after skying his shot.
Peter Fulton was gone the next ball when he dragged a delivery from Tsotsobe onto his stumps to have the Wizards flailing at 6/2.
Tsotsobe collected his Hat trick with the first ball of the third over catching Shanan Stewart infront for LBW.
Tom Latham was Tsotsobe's fourth scalp, caught behind by de Villiers in the fifth over. Reece Young fell for five when his chip was caught by deep square leg.
When Logan Van Beek fell for one attempting to heave one over mid-wicket the writing was on the wall. But inspired hitting from McEwan, 30 (33) and Henry 42 (17) created a thrilling finish to the match and untill Henry's dismissal they were in with a shot.
The next game of the tour is Friday's International T20
match with New Zealand at Westpac Stadium in Wellington at