South Africa booked their place in the World Cup quarter-finals with a thumping 146-run victory over UAE in Wellington.
AB de Villiers (99 from 82 balls) and Farhaan Behardien (64no from 31) helped the Proteas club their way to 341-6 from their 50 overs at The Westpac Stadium.
South Africa then bowled out UAE for 195 in 47.3 overs to bounce back from Saturday’s loss to Pakistan and all-but secure second spot in Pool B and a likely last-eight dust-up with 1996 champions Sri Lanka.
De Villiers was The Proteas’ one batting bright spot against Pakistan, smoking a 58-ball 77, and he carried on that dazzling form on Thursday when his side were asked to bat first by UAE skipper Mohammad Tauqir.
The 31-year-old smashed six fours and four sixes to add some impetus to the Proteas’ innings after the exits of Hashim Amla (12), the out-of-sorts Quinton de Kock (26) and Rilee Rossouw (43) had them wobbling on 96-3 in the 19th over.
De Villiers put on 108 for the fourth wicket with David Miller (49) and then 53 with JP Duminy (23) for the fifth as he notched his 45th ODI half-century and set a new record for the number of sixes in a World Cup, his current tally of 20 surpassing the 18 Matthew Hayden plundered in 2007.
However, the right-hander missed out on his second ton of this year’s World Cup and became just the third man in the tournament’s history, after Adam Gilchrist (2003) and team-mate Duminy (2011), to be dismissed for 99 when he carved Amjad Javed to short third man.
Behardien, though, a replacement for back-injury victim Faf du Plessis, continued the onslaught, crunching two fours and two sixes from Javed’s final over as South Africa ended their knock with real momentum.
UAE were a tad sloppy in the field, dropping De Villiers on 65 and bungling the chance to run out Miller when he was on seven, but the associate nation began their batting effort solidly – until a moment of magic from Rossouw.
Rossouw, who walloped eight fours during an enterprising innings earlier in the day, plucked a stunning one-handed catch at point to dismiss Andri Berenger (5) after the opener had looped a Morne Morkel (2-23) bouncer in his direction.
Amjad Ali (21) and Khurram Khan (12) were sent packing shortly after but Shaiman Anwar (39) and Swapnil Patil (57no) combined to put on 63 before the former clothed Imran Tahir to Rossouw.
Rossouw then produced some more outstanding fielding, running in from his deep midwicket position to pouch Saqlain Haider (7) after the UAE batsman had top-edged De Villiers (2-15 from three overs), and the Pool B outsiders were six down when substitute Wayne Parnell’s juggling take dismissed Javed (5), De Villiers once again the bowler.
The Proteas captain then caught out Mohammad Naveed, who followed up his three wickets during South Africa's knock with a brisk 17 with the bat, before Dale Steyn (1-40) and Vernon Philander (2-34) polished off UAE's tail, the minnows' last man, Fahad Alhashmi, unable to bat due to an injury picked up while bowling.
South Africa join India in the quarter-finals, with the two remaining qualification spots in Pool B to be taken by two of West Indies, Ireland and Pakistan following this weekend's final batch of group-stage matches.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers: "I'm extremely happy. It's never a given that you're going to make the quarter-finals in the World Cup and I thought UAE bowled pretty well up front and made things difficult.
“It's a huge opportunity for us as a team now. We've got a lot of people back home who we represent and this is the position we want to be in, representing them in a quarter-final. We're very excited."
UAE captain Mohammed Tauqir: “We tried our best. Playing 50 overs against South Africa is a great learning experience for our side and gives us a lot of confidence. The more opportunities we get the better we become.
"South Africa scored over 400 against Test nations and we restricted them well below that, so that's an achievement for our bowling and fielding side. I don't see the West Indies as strong as South Africa and we would like to put up a better show [on Saturday].”