The uneven nature of the match at the Queen's Sports Club was built right from the earliest starting point as Amla imparted a century stand to Quinton de Kock.
While the early begins in Zimbabwean Odis customarily give a lot of aid to the side playing first and the amusement started under overcast skies, the house side's young assault was not able to gain by those conditions.
Seamer Neville Madziva and 19-year-old all-rounder Luke Jongwe were both given worldwide makes a big appearance yet both battled against a forceful De Kock, who went to his fifty in only 42 balls.
However the left-hander neglected to change over a fifty into a century without precedent for his young vocation when a mishit off the playing of off spinner John Nyumbu, who was making his one-day introduction, saw him withdraw for 63.
Lamentably we lost an excess of wickets at an opportune time and to bring it back from that point is constantly hard - particularly against a group like South Africa, Zimbabwe commander Elton Chigumbura said