Zimbabwe were shot out for their lowest ODI score against South Africa as they lost the series opener in Kimberley by five wickets despite a batting wobble from the Proteas.
Zimbabwe mustered just 117 after being put into bat in their first ODI in South Africa in eight years, with Lungi Ngidi (3-19) helping skittle the tourists in 34.1 overs - the 22-year-old's victims including top-scorer Elton Chigumbura (27) and opener Solomon Mire for a duck.
South Africa slumped to 58-4 after 14.3 overs of their chase but Heinrich Klaasen struck a run-a-ball 44 before stand-in skipper JP Duminy (16no) and Wiaan Mulder (14no) steered the hosts home in 26.1 overs as they recorded a 36th win in 38 completed ODIs against their opponents.
Duminy, deputising as captain for the injured Faf du Plessis, made a slightly surprising call to bowl first under blue skies, saying he wanted to exploit some of the grass cover on the pitch at Diamond Oval.
South Africa's pace unit - minus Dale Steyn, who was overlooked for the first game of the three-match series - duly obliged, with Ngidi nicking off Mire in the fourth over and Zimbabwe slipping to 62-6 inside 22, with Kagiso Rabada (2-34) and Andile Phehlukwayo (2-22) striking twice each.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir (2-23) then picked up two lower-order scalps before Ngidi returned to mop up the innings, with Chigumbura the last man to fall, chipping to a back-pedalling Rabada at mid-on.
Dean Elgar (2), Reeza Hendricks (5) and Christiaan Jonker (6) fell cheaply for the Proteas, while Aiden Markram was dismissed for 27, having been caught off a Tendai Chatara (2-12) no-ball earlier in the same over.
However, Klaasen and Duminy eased the nerves with a fifth-wicket stand of 38, and although the former holed out off Wellington Masakadza (2-26) shortly after blazing the spinner for back-to-back sixes, South Africa wrapped up victory when Mulder clipped away a leg-side boundary.
Watch the second ODI between South Africa and Zimbabwe, in Bloemfontein, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 11.55am on Wednesday.