World Twenty20 cricket: South Africa through as Zimbabwe go out
|ICC World Twenty20 Group C, Hambantota|
|South Africa 94-0 (12.4 overs) beat Zimbabwe 93-8 (20 overs) by 10 wickets|
South Africa inflicted a crushing 10-wicket defeat on Zimbabwe to book their place in the World Twenty20 Super Eights and knock their opponents out.
The impressive Jacques Kallis claimed 4-15 and Morne Morkel 2-16 to limit Zimbabwe to 93-8 in a hugely one-sided game in Hambantota.
South Africa overhauled a modest target with 7.2 overs to spare as Richard Levi helped himself to an unbeaten 50.
The result also secured Sri Lanka's progress from Group C.
Zimbabwe, in the tournament opener on Tuesday, never threatened to defend their second lowest Twenty20 total.
Their competition lasted just three days and they return home before five of the 12 teams have played a game.
With the seedings for the Super Eights already decided, Saturday's game between South Africa and Sri Lanka is redundant in all but the psychological stakes.
While Levi and Amla, who finished on 32 not out, hurried South Africa home with the minimum of fuss, Craig Ervine, with 37 off 40 balls, was one of only two Zimbabwe batsmen to reach double figures.
The remainder of a woefully out-of-their-depth Zimbabwe side were dismantled by a South Africa pace attack that ruthlessly exploited a pitch offering pace and bounce.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers said: "I backed our pace bowlers to do well on this track and Dale [Steyn] and Morne set the trend for us to follow.
"We've improved a lot in these conditions and we've got a balanced bowling attack, so we can't wait to take on what comes at us."
The match was effectively decided inside the first five overs, during which Zimbabwe slipped to 16-3 after they lost the toss.
The Morkels were responsible for the first three wickets, Morne clipping Vusi Sibanda's off stump with one that nipped back and having Brendan Taylor caught behind as he tried to cut before Hamilton Masakadza, on the charge, spooned Albie to mid-on.
Ervine led a recovery of sorts, putting on 35 for the fourth wicket with Stuart Matsikenyeri that added a semblance of respectability to the score.
The left-hander was responsible for four of the six fours in the Zimbabwe innings, but could only watch as Matsikenyeri drove straight to extra-cover and Elton Chigumbura was pinned lbw off successive Kallis deliveries.
Kallis, withdrawn from the attack after that double wicket maiden, returned to have Graeme Cremer caught down the leg side, and Dale Steyn did likewise to Prosper Utseya with the aid of a wonderful left-handed diving catch from AB de Villiers.
With Ervine fending a short ball behind off the face of the bat, Zimbabwe were ultimately glad just to better their previous lowest Twenty20 score of 88.
An asking rate of fewer than five an over was never likely to cause undue concern to Levi, holder of the fastest century in Twenty20 internationals, and the unflustered Amla.
Levi, given ample opportunity to employ his favoured cross-batted shots, tied the scores in bringing up a 44-ball half-century containing six fours.
Although Amla was dropped by Sibanda at backward point in what proved to be the penultimate over of the innings, South Africa's dominance was absolute.
"South Africa showed what a classy bowling line-up they had and we weren't up to the mark," said Zimbabwe captain Taylor.