Hamilton - Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura believed his team could take some positives from a 62-run defeat by a formidable South Africa in their World Cup opener, where a costly final five overs in the field proved crucial.
His attack conceded a whopping 96 runs in the last five overs with Solomon Mire going for 30 in the 47th over as David Miller (138 not out) and JP Duminy (115 not out) lifted South Africa from a struggling 83 for to a total of 339 for after they were sent into bat at Hamilton's Seddon Park on Sunday.
Miller and Duminy shared a new one-day international record stand for the fifth wicket of 256.
"The way we played there were a lot of positives," said Chigumbura. "I thought we were in the game for a long time, maybe we lost it the last five overs of the game, maybe batting and bowling, especially bowling.
"I think, the 47th over, that's where we gave away too many runs that went away."
Zimbabwe were making good progress at 191 for two, with Hamilton Masakadza (80) and Chamu Chibhabha (64) adding 105, before they lost their last eight wickets for just 86 runs.
"I think the way we started we were going on well," said Chigumbura. "We didn't lose too many wickets.
"The partnership between Masakadza and Chibhabha put us in the game.
"And it's unfortunate they went out the wrong times. We had wickets in hand the last 15 overs, but obviously we ended up losing two wickets in the powerplay. Then from there on, the pressure was on us."
Chigumbura admitted South Africa were the better side on the day.
"We wanted to be positive. But whether bowling, batting, even in our fielding, overall everyone was afraid, and obvious, like I said yesterday, that the team that plays good cricket on the day wins the game, and I thought South Africa at the end of the day played better cricket than us."
But Chigumbura said Zimbabwe had solid grounds for optimism heading into their next game, against the West Indies in Canberra on February 24.
"I think it's just a matter of carrying the form into the next game, so that you can try to finish off obviously chasing bigger scores, you have to find the best strategy to chase it down," he said.
"So, yeah, the next game if we are to chase another bigger score, we can change one or two things."