Hashim Amla’s career-best T20 international score could not prevent South Africa from losing their three-match series with Australia 2-1 ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in India.
The opening batsman, in the side for the rested AB de Villiers, staked a claim by thrashing eight fours and four sixes, carrying his bat for an unbeaten 97 from just 62 balls in Cape Town.
Amla shared an opening stand of 47 with Quinton de Kock, which was interrupted briefly by a stray squirrel, while David Miller smacked 30 off 16 deliveries during a 50-run stand in five overs with Amla to lift the Proteas, having won the toss, to 178 for four.
But that total was not enough to stop Australia from completing a series turnaround, the tourists securing victory with six wickets and four balls to spare.
Australia’s top-four batsmen all made contributions, Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson setting a platform with 33 and 42 respectively in an opening stand of 76, until both holed out in the deep in the space of four Imran Tahir balls.
Skipper Steven Smith and David Warner, remaining in his new position at four, then put Australia on course with a second-wicket partnership of 79.
And despite Warner failing to beat a fine throw in the deep from Tahir, run out for 33, and Smith top-edging Kagiso Rabada to wicketkeeper de Kock for 44, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh guided their side home.