Captain Simon Katich led from the front with a classy half century as New South Wales easily beat Diamond Eagles by 53 runs in a Group B match of the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 in Delhi on Friday.
The Australia opener scored 53 runs off 41 deliveries as New South Wales put up a competitive 144 for 6 in their 20 on a slow Ferozshah Kotla wicket.
In reply, Diamond Eagles failed to string together any notable partnerships and finished on 91 for 9.
Ryan MClaren was the only notable contributor for the South African side, scoring 40 off 37 deliveries, including four fours and a six.
Stuart Clark was the most successful New South Wales bowler, claiming three wickets for 12 runs in his four overs.
Diamond Eagles made a mess of the chase, losing half their side within first seven overs with just 24 runs on the board.
The in-form Brett Lee fired from his first over and made opener Rilee Rossouw's 20th birthday a forgettable one, trapping the left-hander plumb in front of the wicket.
Eagles could not recover after that. Lee and company struck at regular intervals as the South African batsmen found it hard to cope with a lethal NSW bowling attack.
To make matters worse, Adrian McLaren, in search of a non-existent single, was caught short of his ground by Katich with a direct hit from mid-on.
The Kotla pitch seemed livelier in the second essay, as the New South Wales pacers extracted bounce at will.
Morne van Wyk was the next to depart, caught inches off the ground by Philip Hughes at midwicket off Stuart Clarke's opening over.
The Eagles' biggest jolt came in the form of their most experienced player and captain, Boeta Dippenaar (7). The former South Africa batsman chipped one straight to Katich at mid-off in Clark's second over.
Off-spinner Hauritz too joined the party as he foxed Dean Elgar with a flighted delivery and wicket-keeper Daniel Smith did the rest.
Ryan McLaren, however, was in no mood to give up without a fight and along with van Schalkwyk put on 26 runs for the seventh wicket to delay the inevitable.
He scored 40 before he was caught by Hauritz off the bowling of Moises Henriques. The bowler, who had earlier castled Schalkwyk for 3, finished with figures of 2 for 13 in three overs. He also did well with the bat scoring 27 off 19 deliveries.
Earlier, electing to bat, NSW got off to a horrible start, Victor Mptisang disturbing Philip Hughes's timbers in the second over. The scoreboard read 3 for 1 at that stage.
Hughes went for a wild slog, but missed the ball completely and looked behind to find his off-stump uprooted.
New-man in Katich started his innings on a positive note, hitting three boundaries off Dillon Du Preez in the third over, to step-up NSW's tempo.
He was in ominous form and found the fence at will, without going for extravagant shots. Inspired by his skipper, David Warner (23 off 31 balls), who was subdued initially, opened up and hit van Schalkwyk for three fours to take NSW's score to 42 for 1 after six overs.
Both Katich and Warner looked good from the onset and mixed caution with aggression to guide NSW to 69 for the loss of one wicket at the half-way mark.
Not a single Eagles bowler was able to trouble the left-hand duo as they shared 79 runs for the second wicket in 10.5 overs before medium-pacer Ryan Bailey bowled Warner.
Warner deflected the ball off his thigh pad on to the stumps. His dismissal drew curtains on a dangerous-looking partnership.
The breakthrough worked for the South Africans, as, in the next over, Katich (53 off 41 balls) offered a simple catch to Rossouw at long-off, off van Schalkwyk's bowling, leaving NSW in a spot of bother at 84 for three after 14 overs.
The NSW captain's innings included six fours and two sixes.
Then came Henriques and Rohfer, and both batsmen stepped up the scoring to help their side's cause.
Henriques struck three huge sixes in his knock before van Schalkwyk cut short his stay, caught by Adrian McLaren at short point.
Rohfer, on the other hand, found the fence twice and cleared it once.
Shadley van Schalkwyk was the pick of the Eagles bowlers, picking two wickets for 22 runs from three overs.