It was hands up time today for New Zealand coach Mike Hesson, who had to acknowledge his team were second best in the T20 international against South Africa at Eden Park last night.

South Africa made 185 for six then rolled New Zealand, the world No 1 side in this format, for just 107.

It made grim viewing for Hesson and his team, who had been hoping for an encouraging start to the centrepiece event of the summer.

''We were certainly off in most departments, which got exposed," Hesson said today.

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''All in all not a great performance and certainly one we're going to have to turn around pretty quickly."

Hesson doesn't think New Zealand needed a refresher course on the strength of the South African game. That said, they got one just to help focus the mind going into the five-game ODI series starting in Hamilton tomorrow.

''It certainly showed us how many good players they have. It was a thorough performance from South Africa but disappointing from our perspective that we didn't fire too many shots at them."

Lefthander Colin Munro, out first ball to a poor shot last night, is not in the ODI squad, at least for the first two matches and needs to find runs in the Plunket Shield which resumes next week.

''Colin's a matchwinner for us in T20 but there's no doubt he's a little inconsistent in terms of getting starts.

''That's something he knows he has to improve. Once he gets a start he is able to make major contributions."

Left arm swing bowler Trent Boult produced terrific figures of 4-0-8-2, extra lustre being added by the fact South Africa got 169 runs off the other 16 overs.

''Trent was exceptional. He's got a lot of confidence but we weren't able to back him up at times. We have to recognise how good he was," Hesson said.

Legspinner Imran Tahir gave New Zealand plenty of food for thought with his man-of-the-match winning five for 24 off 3.5 overs.

Hesson acknowledged the world's No 1 white ball bowler is a major threat.

''If you haven't faced him a lot he's hard to get six to eight (an over) off. When you're chasing and you need to get 12-14 (runs an over) of him he's in his element."