Captain Saurav Ganguly and his predecessor Sachin Tendulkar demolished South African bowling to help their team win a limited overs thriller by four wickets, and the series 3-1.
India reached the target of 283 runs with one ball to spare in the western Indian city of Baroda, clinching the series with a match still to be played.
The innings of Tendulkar, who scored 122 runs with 12 fours, and Ganguly, whose quickfire 87 included 12 fours and two sixes, took India within striking distance of victory.
But Ganguly was caught by Shaun Pollock off a Peter Strydom delivery, and the dismissals of Tendulkar and Azharuddin, who scored 39 before being caught and bowled by Jacques Kallis, gave hope of a South African fightback. Rahul Dravid was out for just three runs, caught by Hansie Cronje off Nicky Boje.
The match stretched into the final over after Ajay Jadeja and Sunil Joshi were out for five and four runs respectively, and bowler Robin Singh and wicketkeeper Syed Saba Karim were at the crease.
India needed six runs to win in the last over. The batsmen took a run off each ball but in the third ball, a catch from Karim was dropped by Klusener. On the fifth ball, Singh lofted a delivery to the cover region to score two runs and win the match for his team.
In the South African innings, Gary Kirsten and Kallis plundered the Indian bowling to help the team reach a formidable 282 for five in the allotted 50 overs.
Openers Kirsten (72) and Herschelle Gibbs (37) made full use of a perfect batting wicket after captain Hansie Cronje won the toss and decided to bat first. They hit up 70 runs in the first 10 overs. The two put on 99 runs for the opening wicket partnership before ltum as Kallis batted with aplomb and remained 81 not out.
India made two changes from the team that lost to South Africa in the third international earlier this week. Paceman Javagal Srinath replaced T. Kumaran and wicket-keeper Karim came in place of Sameer Dighe. South Africa retained the same eleven.
Gary Kirsten run out 72 Herschelle Gibbs lbw b Sunil Joshi 37 Jacques Kallis not out 81 Hansie Cronje c Ajit Agarkar b Joshi 26 Nicky Boje c Joshi b Anil Kumble 9 Dale Benkenstein b Javagal Srinath 27 Lance Klusener not out 14 Extras (4nb, 7w, 5lb) 16
Total (for five wickets) 282
Fall of wickets: 1-99, 2-136, 3-181, 4-199, 5-256.
Indian Bowling: Javagal Srinath 9-0-60-1, Ajit Agarkar 10-0-61-0, Anil Kumble 9-0-32-1, Sunil Joshi 10-0-69-2, Robin Singh 3-0-12-0, Sachin Tendulkar 9-1-43-0.
Saurav Ganguly b Shaun Pollock b Peter Strydom 87 Sachin Tendulkar c Steve Elworthy b Jacques Kallis 122 Rahul Dravid c Hansie Cronje b Nicky Boje 3 Mohammad Azharuddin c and b Jacques Kallis 39 Ajay Jadeja b Shaun Pollock 5 Robin Singh not out 0 Sunil Joshi b Shaun Pollock 4 Syed Saba Karim not out 2 Extras: (lb3, w5, nb3) 11
Total: 283 for six wickets in 49.5 overs
Fall of wickets: 1-153, 2-176, 3-256, 4-267, 5-273, 6-277
Bowling: Shaun Pollock 9-0-54-2, Steve Elworthy 7-0-52-0, Jacques Kallis 8.5-0-50-2, Hansie Cronje 6-0-33-0, Nicky Boje 10-0-43-1, Peter Strydom 9-0-48-1
Result: India won by four wicketsReuse content