Cape Town - Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis put up gallant and defiant resistance before India clinched the inevitable victory by 124 runs in the third Test in Nagpur on Friday.
Final scorecard: India v South Africa, third Test
As a consequence, India clinched the series 2-0 with only one match left to be played in Delhi next week. It also brings to an end a nine-year sequence in which the Proteas went unbeaten in Test matches away from home in a total of 15 series.
Amla (39 off 167 balls) and Du Plessis (39 off 152 balls) managed to hold out for more than 45 overs in sharing a partnership of 72 for the fifth wicket before they were both dismissed by leg-spinner Amit Mishra.
Murali Vijay’s innings of 40 in the first innings was thus the highest in the match.
The Proteas made more runs in the second innings than India but the match was decided by India’s lead of 136 on the first innings.
Their match-winner was off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, whose figures of seven for 66 in the second innings were a career best, and these figures as well as his match figures of 12 for 98 the best for India against South Africa.
He now has 15 five-wicket hauls and four 10-wicket hauls. He has taken 55 wickets in eight matches in the current calendar year which makes him the world leader.
The pitch was slower than it had been on the first two days which was undoubtedly a factor in enabling Amla and Du Plessis to survive, particularly when the ball got older and softer.
It was the first time in the series that a side had had the opportunity to take a second new ball with the Proteas second innings lasting almost 90 overs.
India 215 and 173; South Africa 79 and 185