South African captain AB de Villiers was a relieved, and delighted, skipper last night.
He struck the winning boundary with one ball to spare to get South Africa a four-wicket win and take a 1-0 lead in the five-game ODI series at Seddon Park tonight.
''Not for a second were we in control," de Villiers, who finished on 37, said of South Africa's chase for 208 to win in the 34-over contest.
''Our two openers (Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock) gave us a really good foundation but I felt they were the toughest conditions I've ever played in.
''I decided to stay patient and take it as deep as we can and maybe we'll get close."
De Villiers, who put on an unbroken 54 with Andile Phehlukwayo for the seventh wicket, reckoned he had not seen a pitch to match Seddon Park outside the sub-continent.
There was substantial turn in the second innings and it was two-paced after days of heavy rain - ''really weird," de Villiers said.
''Experience-wise it was 10 out of 10 to be put under pressure like that with the bat in hand. Conditions-wise? 0 out of 10. I don't think we're going to face any conditions like that in the UK," he said pitching forward to the Champions Trophy in June in Britain.
''That was a great win for us. But there's lots of games left in the series and we know it's nowhere near done."
The win extends South Africa's unbeaten ODI run to 12, equalling the previous best record of 2005.
For New Zealand captain Kane Williamson it was a ''pretty disappointing" outcome.
''It was one of those games, because it was such a fine line, you look at a number of things - shoulda, coulda.
''But the boys fought very hard. We managed to get a total I thought could be difficult to chase down.
''AB de Villiers played very well and showed great composure. They thoroughly deserved the win."