Right-hander Joe Root dazzled with a scintillating 83 as England got the better of South Africa by two wickets in a high-scoring Group 1 match in the Super 10 stage of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Wankhede Stadium here tonight.
Put in to bat first, South Africa piled up an imposing 229 for four from their 20 overs, only to see England get past at 230 for eight with two balls to spare.
South African openers Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock and J P Duminy hit half-centuries and had a field day after England skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and asked them to make first use of the pitch.
Amla (58) and de Kock (52) put together the highest first-wicket partnership of 96 in this edition of the tournament so far. The pair and J P Duminy, who remained unbeaten on 54, destroyed the slog-over bowling, scoring 54 runs off 48 balls to set England a target of 230.
De Kock departed in the eighth over while Amla, who contributed 44 runs to the first wicket partnership, went on to score 58 runs with seven fours and three sixes.
A B de Villiers, who made 16 off eight balls with the help of two sixes, was caught behind by Morgan off spinner Adil Rashid in the ninth over.
Skipper Francois Du Plessis struck 17 off an equal number of balls to take the total to 169 for four in 15.3 overs.
From then on, Duminy and David Miller made 36 runs for the fourth. Duminy's unbeaten 54 came off 28 balls while Miller made 28 off 12 deliveries. Duminy hit two fours and two sixes in his essay.
The English bowling proved highly expensive right from the start, with the openers bringing up the 50 of the innings off just 23 balls.
Left-arm medium pacer David Wiley picked up just a single wicket in his two overs in which he gave away 33-runs. The other pace bowler right-arm Chris Jordan did not pick up even a single wicket with his three overs going for 49 runs. Moeen Ali bagged two for 34 while Rashid got one for 35.
England started the run chase confidently, with their openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales putting on 48 in just two overs before the latter departed after making 17 off seven balls, inclusive of four fours.
Roy made 43 off 16 deliveries, including five fours and three sixes, before falling in the fifth over with the total at 71. Ben Stokes (15) made his exit in the sixth over to make it 87 for three.
That brought Root to the crease and he and Morgan (12) moved the total to 111 before the England skipper was bowled by Duminy in the tenth over.
Root and Jos Butler then added 75 runs for the fifth wicket before the latter departed after contributing 21. He was stumped by de Kock in the 16th over sent down by Imran Tahir.
Root fell in the 19th ovr, caught by David Miller off Kagiso Rabada with the total at 216.
Moeen Ali (8 not out) managed to steer England past the target in the last over.
For South Africa, Kyle Abbott picked up three for 41 and Rabada got two for 50, while Duminy and Tahir got one apiece.
H Amla lbw Ali 58
Q de Kock c Hales b Morgan 52
AB de Villiers c Morgan b Rashid 12
JP Duminy not out 54
D Millier not out 28
Extras (lb2, w,2) 4
Total (4 wickets;20 over) 229 (11.5 rpo)
Did not bat: C Morris, J Abott, D Steyn, K Rabada, I Tahir.
Fall of wickets: 1-96 (de Kock, 7.1 ov), 2-114 (de Villiers, 8.6 ov), 3-133 (Amla, 11.5 ov), 4-169 (du Plessis, 15.3 ov)
D Wiley 4 0 40 1
W Topley 2 0 33 0
M Ali 4 0 34 2
C Jordan 3 0 49 0
B Stokes 2 0 23 0
A Rashid 4 0 35 1
J Root 1 0 13 0
J Roy c de Kock b Abbott 43
A Hales lbw B Abbott 17
B Stokes c Morris b Rabada 15
J Root c Miller b Rabada 83
E Morgan b Duminy 12
J Butler st de Kock b I Tahir 21
M Ali not out 8
C Jordan c Duminy b Abbott 5
D Wiley run out de Villiers 0
A Rashid not out 0
Extras (lb6, w 20) 26
Total (8 wickets;19.4 ov) 230 (11.69 rpo)
Did not bat: A Topely
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Hales, 2.3 ov), 2-71 (Roy 4.3 ov), 3-87(Stokes, 5.4 ov), 4-111 (Morgan, 9.4 ov), 5-186 (Butler, 15.4 ov), 6-219 (Root, 18.2 ov), 7-229 (Jordan, 19.1 ov), 8-229(Wiley, 19.2 ov)
K Rabada 4 0 50 2
D Steyn 2 0 35 0
K Abbott 3.4 0 41 3
I Tahir 4 0 28 1
JP Duminy 3 0 31 0
C Morris 3 0 39 0
Player of the Match: J E Root