Yusuf Pathan's blistering century proved in vain for India as South Africa won the fifth and decisive one-day international by 33 runs on Sunday to take the series 3-2.
Morne Morkel bagged four wickets and Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe took two apiece for the hosts who dismissed India for 234. India had been set a Duckworth/Lewis revised target of 268 to win in 46 overs following a rain delay.
Yusuf, who came out in the 14th over when India were tottering at 74 for six, hit eight stunning sixes and as many fours to raise visions of a historic series-clinching win for India only to fail short at the end.
With the loss, India failed to realise their dreams of recording a first ever ODI series win on South African soil besides ending the nearly one-and-a-half month tour on a losing note. The three-match Test series before the one-dayers had ended in a 1-1 draw.
Put into bat, South Africa scored 250 for nine in 46 overs with in-form Hashim Amla contributing a brilliant unbeaten 116 but India had to chase 268 after adjustments were made under the D/L method.
Indian top order batsmen were on self-destruct mode as they fell like a pack of cards, with most of them being dismissed while playing rash shots when put under pressure by a disciplined South African bowlers.