South Africa were comfortably chasing a reduced target of 64 off seven overs, after the match was already reduced to nine overs per side due to rain, and made an electric start with De Kock smashing 23 in the first over alone.
As it happened: South Africa vs Zimbabwe
Play was briefly stopped due to rain but De Kock picked up where he left off, accelerating to a brutal 18-ball 47 but the next interruption after three overs proved to be the final one, with South Africa needing only 13 runs to seal victory.
Having elected to bat, Zimbabwe lost openers Craig Ervine (2) and Regis Chakabva (8) in the powerplay and were left reeling at 12-3 before the end of the third over after the in-form Sikandar Raza fell for a duck to Lungi Ngidi.
Sean Williams was run out (1) in the next over before the 53-run partnership between Wessly Madhevere and Milton Shumba brought some much-needed stability to a chaotic Zimbabwe innings and helped them post a competitive total of 79-5.
Points shared with persistent rain in Hobart 🤝#SAvZIM | #T20WorldCup | 📝: https://t.co/cXk4AuGaiZ https://t.co/NM5PNlNLKM
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Madhevere top-scored with an unbeaten 35 off 17 while Shumba added 18 before being dismissed on the last ball of the innings, with Zimbabwe also awarded five penalty runs after the ball rolled into De Kock’s wicketkeeping glove on the field.
Zimbabwe will play Pakistan in their next Super 12 match in Perth on Thursday while South Africa face Bangladesh, who kicked off their T20 World Cup with a laboured nine-run win over the Netherlands after paceman Taskin Ahmed took four wickets.
Earlier on Monday, the Netherlands chose to bowl first and did well to restrict Bangladesh to 144 for eight on a gloomy day at Bellerive Oval.
Paul van Meekeren (24) and Fred Klaassen (seven not out) produced a gallant 34-run partnership for the final wicket and slogged the Netherlands to within 12 runs of victory with two balls to spare.
But Van Meekeren was unable to clear the rope off Soumya Sarkar’s penultimate ball, sealing Bangladesh’s first win in the second round of a T20 World Cup in 17 attempts.
Man-of-the-match Taskin ensured the Netherlands’ chase got off to a dreadful start as he removed opener Vikramjit Singh and number three Bas de Leede with the first two balls of the innings.
A defiant half-century from all-rounder Colin Ackermann (62) kept Netherlands in the game but Taskin dismissed the number four in a two-wicket burst in the 17th over.
Bangladesh play South Africa in Sydney on Thursday, while the Netherlands face India.