HAMBANTOTA: Jacques Kallis recorded the best Twenty20 figures for his country to inspire South Africa to a convincing 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in a Group C match at Hambantota on Thursday.
The 36-year-old all-rounder grabbed 4-15 and was well supported by Morne Morkel's 2-16 as Zimbabwe were kept down to 93-8 -- their second lowest total in all Twenty20 internationals -- after they were put into bat.
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 becomes 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.
Earlier 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.
Morne 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 Morne 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.
South Africa: AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Johan Botha, JP Duminy, Jacques Kallis, Richard Levi, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Robin Peterson, Dale Steyn.
Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor (capt), Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Elton Chigumbura, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Kyle Jarvis, Brian Vitori, Prosper Utseya.
Umpires: Steve Davis (AUS) and Richard Kettleborough (ENG) Tv umpire: Ian Gould (ENG) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)
DID YOU KNOW?
By Shaan Agha
• Right arm seam bowler, Richard Muzhange has represented Zimbabwe’s under – 16 athletics (javelin) and under- 19 basketball teams. If not a cricketer, he wanted to be an economist or a company secretary. His favourite movie is I am legend and favourite cricketer is Pakistan’s Mohammed Asif.
• Graeme Smith with 982 runs is South Africa's leading run scorer in all T20 internationals. He is not picked for this tournament. • Brendan Taylor is the only Zimbabwe batsman to cross 50 in ICC World Twenty20 tournaments. None of their other batsmen have touched 30 runs in an innings on this stage.
• Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel and Graeme Smith have appeared in all of South Africa's 16 appearances on this stage. Boucher (who will be missed along with Smith) affected the only stumping South Africa has so far.
• Zimbabwe missed the 2009 edition as they pulled out due to pressure from England and South Africa about their leader Robert Mugabe. Mugabe is still there but the pressure is apparently not.
• Zimbabwe stunned Australia in 2007 to win the first match they ever played in the ICC World Twenty20. After that they did not manage to get a single victory in that tournament or theof it editions that followed.
• Jacques Kallis was not picked for South Africa's inaugural ICC World Twenty20 citing the need for younger players. Half a decade later, 26 days shy of his 37th birthday he is all set to form an important part of this campaign.