India's Yusuf Pathan hammered 105 in 70 balls but his belligerent innings was in vain as South Africa won the decisive fifth One-Day International by 33 runs at Centurion Park.
Hashim Amla's less aggressive, but no less impressive 116 had enabled South Africa to post 250 for nine from 46 overs and India were then bowled out for 234 in 40.2 overs as South Africa took the series 3-2.
Amla hit nine fours as he and Morne van Wyk (56) ensured that the early departure of Graeme Smith (7) was hardly a hindrance while JP Duminy added a useful 35 later on.
India hit back, Munaf Patel taking three wickets with Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh taking two apiece as South Africa's lower order contributed just 14 runs to the cause.
Almost the opposite was true when India batted as their top order, Parthiv Patel (38) aside, failed to cope with Morne Morkel (4-52), Dale Steyn (2-32) and Lonwabo Tsotsobe (2-57).
They had slipped to 74 for six - in pursuit of an adjusted target of 268 - when Pathan made his entry and 94 for seven when Harbhajan Singh was out for 13. Pathan then blasted eight fours and eight sixes but unlike his maiden century, which came in similar circumstances against New Zealand late last year, this was not enough to turn the game around.
He was the penultimate batsman to be dismissed, with the score on 219 and it was left to Tsotsobe to wrap up the series by dismissing Zaheer for 24.
© Cricket World 201