VIDEO: BlackCaps crushed in opening T20 against South Africa
New Zealand have crashed to a humbling eight-wicket loss to South Africa to open their Twenty20 international cricket series on a limp note in Durban.
In a forgettable start to the reign of new captain Brendon McCullum, the Black Caps were dismissed for 86 in the 19th over, just surpassing their lowest score in the shortest version of the game.
South Africa cruised to 2-87 off 12.1 overs in response, making a mockery of the New Zealanders' struggles with the bat on a Kingsmead pitch which offered pace and bounce.
McCullum chose to bat first, hoping to employ the same formula that saw them open the tour with a 24-run defeat of South Africa A midweek.
However, with experienced opener Martin Guptill ruled out by a stomach complaint, the New Zealand top order capitulated to be 6-36 inside the first nine overs.
Middle order batsman Colin Munro - one of four Black Caps making their international debut, alongside Mitchell McClenaghan, Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham - scored 23 and tailender Doug Bracewell an unbeaten 21 in the only innings of note.
They lifted the total beyond New Zealand's lowest score of 80, achieved against Pakistan in Christchurch two years ago.
Spinner Robin Peterson produced the most miserly spell by a Proteas bowler in T20 cricket, taking 2-8 off his four overs.
Pace bowler Rory Kleinveldt took 3-18, including the key early scalps of Rob Nicol and McCullum as the New Zealanders paid the price for too many injudicious cross bat shots on a surface quicker than they are used to.
South African opener Richard Levi fell for a fifth-ball duck to debutant Mitchell McClenaghan but the hosts had few other problems during their chase against an attack missing unwell seamer Trent Boult.
Captain Faf du Plessis (38no) and debut wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (28no) shared an unbroken third-wicket stand of 42 to steer South Africa to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
The second match is in East London on Monday (NZT).