Captain Graeme Smith led South Africa to an eight-wicket win over Australia Sunday as favoured teams stuttered in practice matches for the Twenty20 world championships.
Smith hit 89 not out and Abraham de Villiers smashed 65 off 35 balls as the hosts surpassed the world champions' 179-8 with five deliveries to spare at a packed Supersport Park in Centurion.
On a day of surprise results, Pakistan beat World Cup finalists Sri Lanka by five wickets at Centurion and New Zealand stumbled to a 35-run defeat at the hands of the West Indies in Benoni.
The inaugural 12-nation world championships open on Tuesday with South Africa taking on the West Indies at the Wanderers here.
The hosts outwitted Australia from the moment veteran seamer Shaun Pollock clean bowled Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin with the last two balls of his second over.
Australia slipped to 21-3 before Andrew Symonds hit 45 off 26 balls and tailender Michael Johnson boosted the total with an unbeaten 30 off 12 balls that included six boundaries.
Smith put on 54 for the first wicket with Herschelle Gibbs in 5.3 overs and a match-winning 116 for the second with de Villiers to give South Africa a morale-boosting win.
Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez claimed 2-18 to restrict Sri Lanka to 162-7 before making 45 to help his team cruise home with seven balls to spare.
Sri Lanka, sent in to bat, failed to build on a solid start of 45 in five overs by openers Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga and lost wickets at regular intervals.
Jehan Mubarak was the top scorer with 42 off 29 balls before being run out by Umar Gul in the final over.
Pakistan made a flying start in reply as Hafeez and Salman Butt (51) hammered 94 for the first wicket by the 10th over.
The loss of four quick wickets reduced Pakistan to 149-5 in the 18th over but captain Shoaib Malik guided his team to victory with an unbeaten 34.
Pakistan, who sent pace spearhead Shoaib Akhtar home last week after a bust-up with Mohammad Asif, had thrashed Zimbabwe by 54 runs on Saturday.
The West Indies owe their win over New Zealand to fast bowler Daren Powell who grabbed three wickets for four runs in his quota of four overs.
All-rounder Darren Sammy claimed 3-21 as the West Indies, restricted to 150-6, hit back to bowl out New Zealand for 115 in 18.4 overs.
In another match in Benoni, Kenya carved out a thrilling win over Bangladesh, dismissing their rivals for 116 before overtaking the modest target for the loss of four wickets and one ball to spare.
At Potchefstroom, Zimbabwe defeated Scotland by five wickets as Vusi Sibanda (42) and Chamun Chibhabha (43) helped their team chase down the rivals' 155-6 with seven deliveries remaining.