JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - New Zealand won the Twenty20 international yesterday by five wickets but how much of a psychological edge they have established over South Africa will probably only be known once the five-match one-day international cricket series starts tomorrow.

A night of surprise moves by the South Africans at the Wanderers began with Jacques Kallis opening the batting and ended with Graeme Smith trying out his part-time offspin in the 18th over of the New Zealand runchase with 20 runs required for victory.

The tourists got them off the six balls from the South African captain, who bowled himself ahead of Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini, and there was a hint of booing from the crowd when Smith spoke at the post-match presentation.

Nothing looked more unlikely when Smith began the South African innings with a tremendous flurry, smashing 61 off 43 balls, with 10 fours and a six, as they raced to 84 without loss in the 10th over.

But they were not able to build on this wonderful start and, not for the first time, it was New Zealand's slower bowlers who proved their downfall.

Offspinner Jeetan Patel had poor returns in the two warm-up matches against South Africa A, but he was skipper Stephen Fleming's kingpin yesterday.

By dismissing Kallis for 20 and Herschelle Gibbs for nine, bowled and leg before wicket respectively, he put South Africa on the defensive and ensured the New Zealanders would not have a major target to chase.

While Patel conceded just 20 runs in his four overs, medium pacer Nathan Astle was busy drying up the runs at the other end and he returned identical figures of three for 20.

The lifeblood of the South African innings bleached away and they were all out for just 133 with three balls still remaining of their allotted overs.

New Zealand's chase also had a bright start as Fleming eased his way to 31 off 25 balls, but they then lost three wickets in eight balls.

The fiery Andre Nel castled Astle for 10 with his first delivery and celebrated maniacally.

By the end of the over he had also sent Hamish Marshall packing.

When Fleming then played a poor shot to pick out gully and give Charl Langeveldt a wicket with his second delivery, New Zealand were 46 for three and not in great shape.

But Scott Styris, who was in such princely form when New Zealand hammered South Africa 5-1 in a one-day international series at home last summer, set them back on track for victory with his innings of 24.

Jacob Oram hit two sixes in his 23 not out and Brendon McCullum added the finishing touches with a nine-ball 17.

Smith was forced to bowl himself apparently due to a slow over rate and New Zealand did not waste the opportunity to make the South African skipper endure a dose of humble pie.

- NZPA