'Unapologetic' McCullum backs team despite loss against S. Africa

Sydney, Dec. 23 (ANI): New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was unapologetic for his team's performance against after South Africa which trounced it by eight wickets with 47 balls to spare in the first Twenty20 international on Friday.

Fast bowler Rory Kleinveldt took two early wickets to start a slide from, which New Zealand never recovered, being all out for 86.

Kleinveldt took the key wickets of Rob Nicol and McCullum before he finished with 3-18 to capture the man of the match award, the Age Reports.

South Africa romped home in 12.1 overs with eight wickets to spare.

New captain Faf du Plessis made 38 not out, while Quinton de Kock, making his debut four days after his 20th birthday, slammed a quick 28 not out.

After his team's collapse after winning the toss, McCullum said that they played some aggressive cricket and missed a couple of fundamentals on the way.

Du Plessis hailed a "fantastic" performance by the home side.

It was a disappointing start for New Zealand, who arrived as underdogs, but were expected to put up a reasonable fight in the Twenty20 internationals.

According to the report, they were missing several key players, including former captain Ross Taylor, who was unavailable for the tour, and they suffered another blow when experienced batsman Martin Guptill could not play at Kingsmead because of a stomach ailment.

Fast bowler Trent Boult was also unavailable because of a similar problem, the report added. (ANI)


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