Many of Zimbabwe's batsmen were inept against South Africa's pace, but although Vusi Sibanda's attempted straight drive to Morne Morkel in the second over wasn't a great example of the shot, Sibanda can at least be comforted by the fact that he was dismissed by a ball that would have had most batsmen struggling to make contact. Morkel fired a full delivery down at 145 kph, and got it to tail in a touch in the air, before pitching and jagging in dramatically. Sibanda's whoosh found only air, and the ball zipped between bat and pad to flick the off stump.
Craig Ervine and Stuart Matsikenyeri had cobbled together the beginnings of a recovery, grinding forward Zimbabwe's total to 51 after coming together at 16 for 3, but in two balls, Jacques Kallis crippled the rebuild and restored Zimbabwe's slide. With the score moving at less than six an over, Matsikenyeri attempted an expansive stroke, bouncing down the pitch to Kallis' fourth ball, but although he managed to connect, he slapped it straight to short cover. Kallis then removed Elton Chigumbura next ball, when the batsman played around an unremarkable full delivery that struck him flush in front of middle and off.
South Africa had appealed twice for caught-behinds down the leg side and had already snared a victim that way, but when another short ball deflected off the batsman's glove in the 17th over, the deviation seemed to be too great for the wicketkeeper to haul the catch in. AB de Villiers, though, threw himself full tilt to his less-favoured side and pouched the ball left-handed, close to where a leg-slip might have stood.
In a Zimbabwe innings notable for its timidity, Ervine was the only batsman who showed the application and verve that would have seen Zimbabwe provide more of a challenge to South Africa. Ervine trotted down the pitch to the first ball he faced from Robin Peterson, but when that didn't work, played a terrific reverse-sweep next ball, splitting the fielders at backward point and sweeper to find the boundary.