September 21, 2012 08:39 am
Jacques Kallis recorded the best Twenty20 figures for his country to inspire South Africa to a convincing 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe overnight.
The 36-year-old allrounder grabbed 4-15 and was well supported by Morne Morkel’s 2-16 as Zimbabwe were kept down to 8-93 in their Group C match, their second lowest total in all Twenty20 internationals, after they had lost the toss in Hambantota.
Openers Richard Levi then notched 50 not out and Hashim Amla an unbeaten 32 to knock off the low target in the 12.4 overs to cap a comfortable victory for one of the title favourites in this 12-team competition.
The defeat meant Zimbabwe was the first team to go out of the tournament after a one-sided match watched by just 1,000 fans in Mahinda Rajapaksa stadium.
Levi hit six boundaries off 43 balls, while Amla hit three off his 33 deliveries.
“I back my pace bowlers to do well on this kind of deck and hopefully it’s the same for the next game,” said South Africa skipper AB de Villiers.
“We’ve improved a lot facing spin in these conditions, so can’t wait to take on what’s coming our way.”
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor was disappointed but promised his team would come back strongly in future events.
“It’s definitely disappointing and the end of the road,” said Taylor. “South Africa showed what a classy bowling line-up they are. We are a team that is going to bounce back sharply.”
Zimbabwe failed against a ruthless South African pace quartet, led by Kallis and Morne Morkel.
Craig Ervine top-scored with 37, and added 35 for the fourth wicket with Stuart Matsikenyeri (11), to help Zimbabwe just avoid their lowest total of 84 in all Twenty20 internationals, made against New Zealand in 2010.
Morkel dismissed Vusi Sibanda (nought) and Brendan Taylor (four) in his first two overs before Kallis polished off the middle-order with the wickets of Matsikenyeri and Elton Chigumbura off successive deliveries in his first over.
He then dismissed Graeme Cremer (six) and Ervine to improve on Morkel’s 4-17 against New Zealand in 2007 which was the previous best bowling by a South African in a Twenty20 match.
Hosts Sri Lanka, who beat Zimbabwe by 82 runs, play South Africa in the final Group C match on Saturday.
The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the Super Eights round. (AFP)