South Africa amassed 408 for 5 on the back of a record-breaking 162 not out from AB De Villiers and it was a total that proved well beyond West Indies who were shot out for 151, which left them staring at the largest margin of defeat in World Cup history.
South Africa had a point to prove after their recent defeat to India and their batsmen made a circumspect start to the innings.
Quinton de Kock scratched around at the top of the order before falling to West Indies captain Jason Holder.
Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis batted with authority after seeing off the new ball and built a platform with a 127-run partnership.
Both Amla and Du Plessis fell in quick succession, but their job had been done, which was to set up the innings for the final 20 overs.
But what was to follow could not have been predicted.
A score in the region of 300 looked like it would be an acceptable total, but De Villiers, aided by Rilee Rossouw, ensured South Africa ended up with far more.
De Villiers who starred in the South Africans 4-1 beating of their West Indies guests before the World Cup showed he enjoys batting against West Indies, and he blasted the ball all over the Sydney Cricket Ground.
It was a quite blistering, savage assault on the West Indies bowling. 78 runs came off the final 18 balls, with De Villiers smashing 30 off the final over of the innings. from Holder—who went for 34 in his previous over, which also contained a couple of no-balls.
De Villiers went past three figures with a six, and concluded the innings with a six, as he smashed 162 off 66 balls.
The West Indies bowlers were taking a pounding from South Africa and needed something a bit special to keep them in the game. Jerome Taylor stepped up.
David Miller climbed into a full ball from Andre Russell and launched it toward the long-on boundary.
It had six written all over it, but Taylor had not read the script as he ran round the boundary, jumped in the air and pouched the ball with his right hand and had the presence of mind to stay inside the rope.
Facing a 409-run victory target, West Indies were unhinged by the spin of Imran Tahir who took 5 for 45 and was supported by pacers Kyle Abbott and Morne Morkel with two apiece. Earlier Chris Gayle (2 for 21) and Andre Russell 2 for 74 led the Windies wicket-taking.
West Indies look to rebound with wins against India next on March 6 and United Arab Emirates on March 15 to complete their Pool preliminary-round play.
Having started off with a loss to Ireland and wins against Pakistan and Zimbabwe, West Indies should make it as one of the four from the Pool to advance to the quarter-finals but needs at least one more win.
West Indies captain Holder topscored with 56 as West Indies were bowled out for 151 with Chris Gayle (3), Marlon Samuels (a duck), Jonathan Carter 10, Denesh Ramdin 22, Lendl Simmons (a duck), Darren Sammy 5, Andre Russell a duck, Jerome Taylor 15 and Sulieman Bennn 1 made for a sorry-looking Windies scorecard., .