Cape Town - Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was not a happy man following his team's seven run defeat to Australia in the second one-day international between the two sides played in Adelaide.
Set 233 for victory, South Africa's batting again let them down with the top-order failing which left the Proteas on 68-4 at one point.
Du Plessis (47) and David Miller (51) steadied the ship but the Proteas fell short in their run-chase, finishing on 224 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs.
"It's a tough pill to swallow. The nature of the wicket and the game was we only needed four-and-a-half an over," said Du Plessis.
The Proteas have a chance to seal the series on Sunday when the third and final ODI takes place at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
The match starts at 04:50 (SA time).