Riding on the morale-boosting three-wicket victory over India, South Africa jumped two rating points to join the 1983 World champions on 118 points in the latest ICC team rankings.
South Africa, chasing a formidable total of 296 runs, were home after Robin Peterson smashed Ashish Nehra for 14 runs in the last over to bring their World Cup campaign back on track after losing their last encounter against England.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men, however, are still placed at number two behind Australia, who lead the table with 131 points. South Africa leapfrogged Sri Lanka to claim the number three spot, missing the second rank by a fraction of a point.
The batting chart remains more or less the same, with South Africa's Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers continuing their good show at the top in first and second spots.
Virat Kohli, the lone Indian in the top three, slipped a place to fourth, swapping the position with Australia's crisis-man Michael Hussey.
Virender Sehwag (eighth), Sachin Tendulkar (ninth) and Dhoni (sixth) retained their positions in the top ten.
South African speedster Dale Steyn, whose fiery spell of 5-50 saw India lose nine wickets for just 29 runs after going strong at 267 for one, made a jump of five places to achieve the career-best ranking of three.
Zaheer Khan is ranked 16, while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is 19.
Munaf Patel made a jump of ten places to 32.
New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori enjoys the top position with another South African fast bowler, Morne Morkel, following him at number two.
There is no change in the top four rankings in the ODI all-rounders list with Shakib Al Hasan still leading the field.