Yusuf's innings goes in vain
Yusuf Pathan's blistering century proved in vain for India as South Africa won the fifth and decisive one-day international by 33 runs on Sunday to take the series 3-2.
Morne Morkel bagged four wickets and Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe took two apiece for the hosts who dismissed India for 234. India had been set a Duckworth/Lewis revised target of 268 to win in 46 overs following a rain delay.
Yusuf, who came out in the 14th over when India were tottering at 74 for six, hit eight stunning sixes and as many fours to raise visions of a historic series-clinching win for India only to fail short at the end.
With the loss, India failed to realise their dreams of recording a first ever ODI series win on South African soil besides ending the nearly one-and-a-half month tour on a losing note. The three-match Test series before the one-dayers had ended in a 1-1 draw.
Put into bat, South Africa scored 250 for nine in 46 overs with in-form Hashim Amla contributing a brilliant unbeaten 116 but India had to chase 268 after adjustments were made under the D/L method.
Indian top order batsmen were on self-destruct mode as they fell like a pack of cards, with most of them being dismissed while playing rash shots when put under pressure by a disciplined South African bowlers.
Image: South African team celebrates after winning the One-day series
Zaheer snaps Smith early
Earlier Dhoni elected to field on a wicket, which didn't have much for the seamers. Piyush Chawla was drafted in the playing XI in place of Ashish Nehra.
The choice was understandable considering this would be the only chance when the team management were able to have a good look at Chawla ahead of the World Cup.
The Indians started off well with senior pro Zaheer again getting his 'bunny' Graeme Smith as the Proteas captain fished at a delivery outside the off-stump and was smartly caught by Yusuf Pathan stationed at second slip.
Image: Zaheer Khan celebrates after picking up Graeme Smith in the fifth and final One-dayer in Centurion
Amla-van Wyk steady SA innings
After the early loss, Hashim Amla and Morne van Wyk put their heads down and took the attack to the opposition, scoring runs at a brisk rate.
Van Wyk in particular was aggressive up front, and let the bat do the talking. He was particularly severe on leg-spinner Piyush Chawla and pacer Munaf Patel who were wayward.
The right-hander soon brought up his half century with a single off Chawla. He soon departed, when he was brilliantly caught by Yuvraj Sing off his own bowling.
Yuvraj Singh then had AB de Villers stumped for just 11 runs.
Image: Morne van Wyk in action during the fifth and final One-dayer
Amla registers 7th ODI ton
Hashim Amla, meanwhile registered his seventh One-day hundred. He along with JP Duminy gave South Africa a platform to stack up big runs. However a rain interruption meant that the game is reduced to a 46 over game.
When the match was restarted, South Africa lost wickets in a hurry. From a healthy 231 for three, South Africa ended up with 250 for nine.
Amla carried his bat throughout the innings with 116 off 132 balls with nine hits to the fence.
Image: Hashim Amla celebrates after hitting a century in the fifth and final One-dayer against India
India off to a disastrous start
Chasing 268 runs for victory, the India were off to a disastrous start losing Rohit Sharma early.
Virat Kohli too followed Rohit back to the pavilion, when he edged one to AB de Villers off Morkel for just two runs to his name.
Other opener Parthiv Patel was at his fluent best creaming boundaries on the off side.
Image: Rohit Sharma is clean bowled by Lonwabo Tsotsobe
South African pacers rock India
India's wickets continued to tumble as they failed to get any momentum chasing a huge total.
MS Dhoni promoted himself up the order but failed to do much with the bat as he edged one to Graeme Smith in the slips for just 5 runs.
Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina too followed the captain as India were reeling 98 for seven, with the fall of Harbhajan Singh.
Image: South Africa's Lonwabo Tsotsobe (L) celebrates after picking up an India wicket
Pathan blitzkrieg fail to see India home
Then came the Pathan show, which almost took India home. With the match firmly in South Africa's grip, Yusuf Pathan stepped in and played a whirlwind innings.
He was sever on spinners Johan Botha and Robin Peterson as he smashed eight massive sixes. A feature of his innings was a reverse sweep six off Peterson.
Indians decided to take the batting Power Play and in the first over itself Pathan smashed South Africa's Lonwabo Tsotsobe for couple of sixes.
However, skipper Smith introduced Morne Morkel and it paid rich dividends as he enticed Pathan to play a false stroke and was caught by Faf de Plesis, but not before a brilliant 70-ball 104.
In the end India fell short by 33 runs as South Africa too the series 3-2.
Image: Yusuf Pathan celebrates after hitting a century against South Africa