Keegan Petersen made a brilliant half-century as South Africa completed an incredible turnaround with a seven-wicket victory at Newlands to win the Test series 2-1 on day four.
South Africa resumed on 101-2, needing another 111 to win, following Dean Elgar's dismissal right at the end of day three and they completed another superb run chase after winning the second Test by the same margin.
Petersen crafted a classy 82 and put on 54 for the third wicket with Rassie van der Dussen, who was unbeaten on 41 as the Proteas won an enthralling series after losing the first Test at SuperSport Park.
Temba Bavuma (32 not out) and Van der Dussen finished off the job with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 57, ensuring India's wait for a first Test series triumph in South Africa goes on.
The elegant Petersen brought up his third half-century in the longest format as he continued to play positively under pressure in the morning session in the Proteas' pursuit of a victory target of 212, with support from Van der Dussen.
Cheteshwar Pujara dropped a straightforward slip catch when Petersen offered a chance on 59 after Jasprit Bumrah drew an edge, but the number three was on his way after chopping on attempting to steer Shardul Thakur into the off side.
India were unable to make further inroads in the morning session, although Van der Dussen had a scare when he was struck on the pad, but Marais Erasmus did not raise the finger and the verdict was umpire's call after Virat Kohli reviewed.
Van der Dussen and Bavuma looked untroubled after lunch, with the white-ball captain driving Ravichandran Ashwin for four to seal a famous series win and put India out of their misery.
RESULT | #Proteas WON BY 7 WICKETS— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 14, 2022
With that victory Dean Elgar's men win the #BetwayTestSeries 2-1 Thank you to team @BCCI for a great series, we look forward to many more #SAvIND #FreedomTestSeries #BePartOfIt | @Betway_India pic.twitter.com/B03ElFBxTK
Petersen a class act
For a man playing in only his fifth Test, Petersen looked like he had been in the Test arena for years as he made a second half-century of the match, having made 72 in the first innings.
This was a classy knock from the 28-year-old, who played with finesse and great composure with so much at stake to put South Africa well on their way to victory.
Petersen, who struck 10 boundaries as he showed the application that his side needed with the series on the line, can be a mainstay in the side for years to come.
India fizzle out after promising start
India were strongly fancied to secure an elusive series Test series win in South Africa after their victory in Centurion.
A win could still have been there for the taking when they took to the field on Friday, but they were left to reflect on what might have been and Pujara's dropped catch summed up their day.
They lacked potency and there was a sense of deja vu as South Africa ultimately made light work of completing the comeback, with India's lack of runs proving costly.