Trent Boult was the lone positive for New Zealand on Friday © Getty Images
Trent Boult was the lone positive for New Zealand on Friday © Getty Images

Finally some smiles for the South African cricketers at Eden Park, Auckland. The last time when they left the ground, there were tear-filled eyes. The memories of their exit in the World Cup 2015 semi-final against New Zealand will be tough to erase but South Africa managed to display a dominant show to down hosts New Zealand by 78 runs in the only T20I of the tour. Perhaps, this is what AB de Villiers meant when he spoke about “unfinished business” in New Zealand. To shift the spotlight from the birthday boy de Villiers, the man of the moment was limited-overs cricket’s best bowler — Imran Tahir. Here are the highlights:

The pros of Eden Park: The ground in Auckland’s commercial capital may be criticised for the ridiculously short boundaries and its abnormal shape, but  it must be commended for its drainage system. The Napier washout  in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is fresh in the mind. Despite the rains for a day and half, the ground staff ensured the game started on time. And kudos to the ground management for that! Full cricket scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, one-off T20I

A 51-meter six! How many sixes have you seen that have travelled only 51 meters? South Africa were 19 for 1 after 3.5 overs when Tim Southee bowled a full and straight one to Faf du Plessis. The South African captain got under the ball and scooped it over fine-leg for a 51-meter six!

It happens only at Eden Park!

Hashim Amla’s onslaught: We often mistake Amla for his reputation of being an excellent Test batsman despite his incredible limited-overs numbers. He displayed some hit-at-will skills when he slammed Ben Wheeler for four consecutive boundaries in the fifth over to make use of the Powerplay.

Some of Amla’s strokes were exquisite. He added 87 for the second wicket with du Plessis before falling for a 43-ball 62.

The start and stop of the AB show: South Africa were 139 for 3 after 15 overs with de Villiers batting on 20 from 14. The stage was set for a perfect onslaught that only this man is capable of. It  was his birthday and that was a further icing on the cake. He had just deposited Colin de Grandhomme over deep midwicket to the upper tier of the stadium; he tried the same off the next ball and holed out to mid-on.

The medium-pacer had bowled full outside off-stump and AB was foxed there with the line.

Trent Boult’s record: While South Africa scored at 9.25, Boult ended with figures of 4-0-8-2. His show will go down as one of the finest spells bowled by a Kiwi in this format. He now sits at the No.2 position amongst New Zealand bowlers in terms of economy rate in this format.

The top spot is held by Daniel Vettori. He bowled figures of 4-1-6-3 against Bangladesh in Hamilton seven years back in 2010.

Glenn Phillips fails to live up to the hype: The ‘Next Baz’? That’s what  was thought of 20-year-old Phillips that he will New Zealand’s next Brendon McCullum. He walked out to the international arena on Friday even before making his First-Class debut.

Chris Morris bowled a beautiful line to the youngster, not giving him any width and finally got him in the third over after an inside edge off his bat was nabbed by Quinton de Kock behind the stumps. It went on to be a double-wicket maiden.

It was Morris who started the damage and he finished 3-1-10-2.

Imran Tahir’s supremacy: Leg-spinner Tahir recently jumped to the No.1 position in the ODI bowlers’ ranking and was already at the pinnacle of the T20I ranking. Morris’ double blow and Andile Phehlukwayo’s three-wicket haul had made it even easier for the wily Tahir.

He first dismissed the dangerous-looking Tom Bruce and Luke Ronchi off consecutive balls and in the following over sent back Colin de Grandhomme. In his last over, he dismissed Ben Wheeler and Southee to complete a five-for — his first in T20Is. He finished with 3.5-0-24-5.

Tim Southee’s blows: Southee carries a reputation to belt sixes. He already has 59 sixes from 56 Tests; he exhibited those abilities on Friday at the ground. He played only six deliveries out of which three were sixes, two singles and one where he got bowled.