Proteas off the mark thanks to De Villiers heroics


South Africa bounced back from their World Twenty20 defeat to England with a 37-run victory over Afghanistan as AB de Villiers returned to his destructive best.

The Proteas superstar struck a stunning 64 off 29 deliveries as South Africa set their Group 1 opponents a challenging target of 210 in Mumbai.

His innings included 29 runs off one Rashid Khan (0-51) over as the Proteas became the first nation to score more than 200 twice in an edition of the tournament, having racked up 229 in their thrilling opening defeat to England.

Afghanistan threatened to repeat the break-neck reply Jason Roy and Alex Hales had managed on the same pitch just two days earlier as Mohammad Shahzad smashed 44 runs off just 19 balls at the top of the order, but the minnows could not maintain his scoring feats.

South Africa made a steady start to their innings, but it was not until the final seven overs that they stepped on the accelerator, De Villiers the catalyst.

The 32-year-old picked up where Quinton de Kock (45) and Faf du Plessis (41) had left off with a scintillating cameo, Khan taking the full brunt of his power in the 17th over.

As the bowler dropped short, De Villiers went big with four sixes and a four to provide a much-needed injection and take him past 50 for the eighth time in the shortest format.

David Miller (19) and JP Duminy (29 not out) - who suffered an apparent hamstring injury in the first over of Afghanistan's innings and had to leave the field - added late gloss with 16 off the last four balls as they reached 209-5 from their 20 overs.

It looked like South Africa could fall victim to another mammoth run chase when Shahzad hit five sixes and three fours early on - the opener showing great touch to launch the ball to all corners of the Wankhede Stadium.

But his departure slowed their efforts down and although Noor Ali Zadran (25) and Gulbadin Naib (26) made valuable runs the regular fall of wickets hampered their progress.

Chris Morris led the Proteas attack superbly in place of Dale Steyn, taking 4-27 from his four overs as Afghanistan were dismissed for 172 to give South Africa their first win.