Zimbabwe were smarting from a big 82-run defeat at the hands of hosts Sri Lanka, with Ajantha Mendis registering best figures of 6-8 in all Twenty20 internationals in the tournament opener here on Tuesday.
Amla, 29, said Zimbabwe will come down hard in their last chance to stay in the tournament.
Labelled as perennial "chokers" for their slumps in major events since being readmitted to international cricket in 1992, South Africa look to end their 14-year title wait after winning the ICC's knock out tournament in 1998.
For that, Amla thinks, a winning start was important.
Led by the gutsy AB de Villiers, South Africa boost of a strong batting line-up with Jacques Kallis as their mainstay besides having a varied attack with Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel spearheading the pace department and Johan Botha and Robin Petersen as quality spinners.
Amla said South Africa's recent showings in all three forms of the game has lifted their confidence.
Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher admitted his team needed a lift after defeat in the first match.