HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka (AP) — Jacques Kallis produced the best bowling performance by a South African in the 20-over format with 4-15 as the Proteas hammered Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the World Twenty20 yesterday.
The latest defeat eliminated Zimbabwe from the tournament, after they lost the team’s first match in Group C by 82 runs against Sri Lanka.
Kallis led the seam attack as Zimbabwe were restricted to 93-8 and South Africa openers Richard Levi (50) and Hashim Amla (32) eased to 94-0 in only 12.4 overs at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
South Africa will meet Sri Lanka in the last Group C match tomorrow with both teams already qualified for the Super Eights.
Levis and Amla were untroubled by the Zimbabwean bowlers. Levi hit six fours off 43 balls, while Amla rotated the strike well, facing 33 balls and hitting three boundaries.
“(I’m) very happy with the start. I back our pace bowlers to do well on this kind of deck. Hopefully it’s the same for the next game,” South African captain AB de Villiers said.
“Richard and Hash started really well. We are definitely prepared for whatever the conditions may be. We’ve improved a lot facing spin in these conditions, so can’t wait to take on what’s coming our way.”
Amla got lucky, though, when South Africa needed only six runs for the victory. Visu Sibanda dropped a sitter at point off medium fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, summing up a woeful day for the Zimbabweans.
“It’s the end of the road,” a disappointing Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor said. “They showed how classy a bowling line-up they are.”
Earlier, Kallis got rid of Stuart Matsikenyeri (11) and Elton Chigumbura (0) with successive deliveries and returned to have Graeme Cremer and topscorer Craig Ervine (37) caught behind. Ervine hit four of the six boundaries in Zimbabwe innings as all the South African seamers got appreciable bounce and pace.
Morkel brothers Morne and Albie caused the early damage after South Africa won the toss and opted to field first. The pair reduced Zimbabwe to 16-3 before Kallis bowled a double-wicket maiden over.
“My job was made easier by the early wickets,” Kallis said. “I just came on and kept the pressure. There was a little bit of carry in the wicket which surprised us a little bit.”
Only Ervine put up any resistance and shared a 35-run, fourth-wicket stand with Matsikenyeri before Kallis broke through with his twin strikes.
Morne clean-bowled Visu Sibanda off his fourth delivery and then had captain Brendan Taylor caught behind in the next over — one of the four catches for South African skipper and wicketkeeper de Villiers.
Zimbabwe were 51-3 midway through the innings before Kallis inflicted further suffering — taking two more wickets without the African side adding to its total.
Dale Steyn was also rewarded for his pace bowling (1-9) when he had Prosper Utseya caught behind in his last over.
It was Zimbabwe’s second lowest ever score in Twenty20s — surpassing their total of 84 against New Zealand at Guyana at the 2010 World Twenty20.