Durban: Jamie How crafted a fine 90 to guide New Zealand to a respectable 248 for six in the first one-day international against South Africa here at Kingsmead on Sunday.
Fast bowler Andre Nel took 3-46, a haul which included wickets with consecutive balls in his penultimate over.
How steadied New Zealand in a stand of 72 with opener Brendon McCullum (40), which was ended in the 23rd over when off-spinner Johan Botha bowled the New Zealand wicketkeeper.
Scott Styris (40) helped How add 75 runs for the third wicket before he skied a delivery from Nel to mid-on, where Botha held a steepling catch.
Nel returned for his second spell to end How's 124-ball vigil in the crease in the 48th over when the New Zealander drove hard at a delivery pitched outside his off stump and edged the ball on to his middle stump.
With his next delivery, Nel bowled Gareth Hopkins leg stump as New Zealand slipped to 223-6.
Mathew Sinclair advanced the visitors' cause with an unbeaten 32, which came off 23 balls and featured three fours and a six.
New Zealand 248 for 6 in 50 overs ( Jamie How 90, Styris 40, McCullum 40, Matthew Sinclair 32 n o, Ross Taylor 20; Nel 3 for 46, J Botha 1 for 44, Albie Morkel 1 for 54) Vs South Africa.