David Miller and JP Duminy centuries helped South Africa overcome a real challenge from Zimbabwe to record a 62-run victory in their opening World Cup Pool B game in Hamilton yesterday.
Miller and Duminy rescued the Proteas' innings after they had been in trouble at 83 for four, and put on a world record fifth-wicket stand of 256 to guide their side to 339 for four.
Elton Chigumbura's side, however, also showed that they would be a dangerous opponent with opener Chamu Chibhabha (64), Hamilton Masakadza (80) and Brendan Taylor (40) more than competent at this level.
They had been on 214 for three and well set to push on for the final 15 overs before Taylor's dismissal effectively ended their resistance and they were bowled out for 277 in 48.2 overs.
The Proteas captain AB de Villiers says he's happy with the result but admits Zimbabwe really put the World Cup favourites under pressure.
De Villiers says losing the toss made it tough for them.
"It was a really difficult wicket to bat on the first 15 to 20 overs. The wicket got a bit easier luckily in our innings, and David and JP great parternship that won us the game. But very very satisfied with the first win. These guys [Zimbabwe] can play some cricket and I will not be surprised if they upset a couple of teams in this world cup."
Zimbabwe in effect lost the game in the final 10 overs of South Africa's innings when they conceded a staggering 146 runs.
Miller moved from 50 to 100 in 28 balls and after he had brought up his second ODI century he attacked Solomon Mire in the 48th over, smashing 30 runs.
He finished on 138 and the nine sixes in his 92-ball knock were also a World Cup record. Duminy finished 115 not out.
South Africa's vaunted pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel failed to really trouble Zimbabwe's batsmen when they began their innings.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir was a constant threat and he finished with figures of 3 for 36 from 10 overs.
India beat Pakistan
Virat Kohli scored a century as India opened their World Cup defence in convincing fashion with a 76-run victory over Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.
Kohli brushed aside concerns over his recent one-day form with a knock of 107 to drive his side to an imposing tally of 300 for seven.
Pakistan started their reply steadily before a three-wicket blitz in two overs at the halfway mark of the innings saw opener Ahmed Shehzad depart for 47 and reduced them to 103 for five.
Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (76) and Shahid Afridi flirted with a match-changing partnership but once the latter departed for 22 and Wahab Riaz followed in the same over, Pakistan's hopes of a first win over India in six World Cup attempts was gone.
Indian seamer Mohammed Shami took four for 35 but it was Mohit Sharma who drove the final nail into the coffin when Sohail Khan holed out for seven to end the Pakistan innings at 224 all out.
Kohli's century was the first by an Indian in those six World Cup encounters and took his impressive tally to 22 in ODIs, joint fourth on the all-time list with his former skipper Sourav Ganguly.
After a disappointing tour of Australia earlier this summer, captain MS Dhoni was happy with their effort.
"There were quite a few areas where we had to improve both in the bowling and the batting department. I felt in this game you know it clicked together. Something that you have to do in tournaments like this you know you have to be at your best and I felt today was one game which was to a lot of extent a very complete game for all of us."
The much-anticipated Pool B grudge match attracted a passionate crowd of 41,500 to the ground with up to a billion more tuning in on the sub-continent and around the world.