Wellington, New Zealand: AB de Villiers stroked 99 from 82 balls to help lift South Africa to 341 for six after it was sent in to bat by the United Arab Emirates in a World Cup Pool B match on Thursday.
Aside from its captain, the South Africa lineup appeared shaky at times and was fortunate not to lose more early wickets against the last-place team in the group at the Wellington Regional Stadium. The Proteas have been inconsistent in their pool games, twice posting 400-plus totals but also losing to India and Pakistan.
South Africa is aiming for a big win in its last pool game to ensure a high ranking in the group and a potentially more favorable matchup in the quarterfinals.
South Africa finished well, scoring 40 off the last two overs — thanks to a knock of 64 off 31 balls by allrounder Farhaan Behardien — but looked much less assured in the first half of their innings.
In the third over, Hashim Amla was out for 12 after top-edging a delivery he tried to pull. Quinton de Kock's struggle for form continued as he made a scratchy 26 off 45 balls before being caught behind. Going into the match, the 22-year-old opener had scored just 27 runs in five World Cup innings.
When UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir caught Rilee Rossouw off his own bowling for 43, South Africa was in some bother at 96 for three.
There could have been more damage — David Miller survived a run out chance, and de Villiers survived an lbw appeal when he was on 10 and then a dropped catch on 63.