Cape Town - South Africa’s ICC World T20 win over Sri Lanka was not much of a consolation for skipper Faf du Plessis.
The Proteas on Monday beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets in Delhi to end their campaign on a high note.
However, earlier losses to England and the West Indies saw the South Africans eliminated from the tournament.
Chasing a modest 121 for victory, the Proteas rode on Hashim Amla's unbeaten 56 to canter home in 17.4 overs.
"We chased down a small total, it's never easy on these wickets, it's always very tricky," Du Plessis told AFP.
"It's very bittersweet. We are going back to South Africa out of the World Cup and it's not where we wanted to be and we got only ourselves to blame," he added.
In the first half of the game, the Proteas bowlers restricted holders Sri Lanka for 120 runs in 19.3 overs after Du Plessis opted to field first.
Sri Lankan opening pair, Dinesh Chandimal (21) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (36), did give the team a brisk start but soon lost the momentum after losing a couple of wickets.
Chandimal and Dilshan looked purposeful during their respective knocks as the duo got stuck into Dale Steyn's second over which cost 16 runs.
But the introduction of spin changed the course for Proteas as Aaron Phangiso struck twice in his first over.
The left-arm spinner cleaned up Chandimal and then Lahiru Thirimanne for nought on the final two deliveries of his over to be on a hat-trick.
Phangiso failed to strike thrice but ended up with impressive figures of two for 26 in his four overs.
"It was tough to play what you call a dead rubber. But we play for our country and we are very proud to represent it," said man-of-the-match Phangiso.
South Africa ended the league table on third position with two wins and as many losses, while a lacklustre Sri Lanka stayed just above laggards Afghanistan with three losses.