(AFP) A.B de Villiers hit a quick-fire half century as South Africa defeated Afghanistan by 37 runs in their World Twenty20 clash in Mumbai, India on Sunday.
The right-handed batsman scored 64 off just 29 balls after Proteas Captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to bat first in the Super 10 Group One match.
De Villiers smashed five sixes and four fours as South Africa got their bid for a first international trophy back on track after an opening day loss to England.
Afghanistan made a flying start to their run chase, racing to 50 in 3.4 overs, but the gulf in class was evident as they eventually fell short on 172 all out on the last ball.
Chris Morris was the star of the South African bowling, taking four for 27.
South African left-hander Quinton de Kock made 45 off 31 balls, including six fours and two sixes, before being caught by wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad off Amir Hamza in the 12th over at the Wankhede Stadium.
Du Plessis made a tidy 41, which included seven fours and one six, before being run out in messy fashion in the tenth over.
South Africa: 209/5 in 20 overs (Q. de Kock 45, F. du Plessis 41, A.B. de Villiers 64, J.P. Duminy not out 29)
Afghanistan: 172 in 20 overs (M. Shahzad 44, N. Zadran 25, G. Naib 26, S. Shenwari 25, Rabada 2/37, Abbott 2/36, Morris 4/27, Tahir 2/24).
Destructive opener and Afghan talisman Shahzad did his best to frighten South Africa's bowlers in the early stages, hitting three sixes and a four off Kyle Abbott over.
But any hopes the Afghans had of causing a sensational upset were effectively over when Shahzad was bowled by Morris for 44 with the last ball of the fourth over.
Q. de Kock c Shahzad b Hamza 45
H. Amla c Stanikzai b Shapoor Zadran 5
F. du Plessis run out 41
A.B. de Villiers c Noor Ali Zadran b Nabi 64
J.P. Duminy not out 29
D. Miller c Naib b Dawlat Zadran 19
D. Wiese not out 0
Extras (lb 2, w4) 6
Total (for 5 wickets, 20 overs) 209
Fall: 1-25, 2-90, 3-97, 4-173, 5-203
Bowling: Hamza 3-0-25-1, Dawlat Zadran 3-0-46-1, Shapoor Zadran 3-0-28-1, Nabi 4-0-35-1, Khan 4-0-51-0, Shenwari 3-0-22-0
M. Shahzad b Morris 44
N. Zadran st de Kock b Tahir 25
A. Stanikzai c de Kock b Morris 7
G. Naib c de Kock b Abbott 26
M. Nabi c de Villiers b Tahir 11
S. Shenwari c Wiese b Abbott 25
N. Zadran c de Kock b Rabada 12
R. Khan b Morris 11
D. Zadran b Morris 0
A. Hamza not out 3
S. Zadran b Rabada 1
Extras (lb 1, w 6) 7
Total (all out 20 overs) 172
Fall: 1-52, 2-60, 3-105, 4-109, 5-140, 6-156, 7-156, 8-167, 9-169 Bowling: Rabada 4-0-37-2, Abbott 4-0-36-2, Morris 4-0-27-4, Tahir 4-0-24-2, Wiese 4-0-47-0.
A.B de Villiers