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South Africa made their best start to the series with Hashim Amla and Loots Bosman giving them a perfect start in the dead rubber in the third and final ODI in Ahmedabad.
The duo put on 113 runs after electing to bat first. Bosman slammed four sixes and seven fours during his knock while Amla's innings was studded eight fours.
Amla and Bosman commenced the South Africa innings on a brisk note against a virtual second-string pace attack.
Amla, who had an outstanding Test series and was asked to stay back for the ODIs after regular skipper Graeme Smith flew back home with a finger injury, was the more dominant partner initially before Bosman took over.
Amla greeted debutant Abhimanyu Mithun to international cricket by spanking the Karntaka youngster for successive fours in his opening over.
With the pacers taking a pasting, MS Dhoni brought in spinners.
Bosman who looked aggressive from the outset was caught off a no-ball by Yusuf Pathan at short mid-wicket off S Sreesanth, pulled a long hop from the bowler for the first six of the innings and then swept him for a four to force the Kerala bowler off the firing line after an expensive five-over spell for 32 runs.
He then stepped out to Yusuf Pathan in the latter's first over to loft the off spinner for a six over long off and complete his half century in 36 balls.
Bosman innings came to an end when he tried to clear Pathan only to find Jadeja at long off.
Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers struck belligerent unbeaten centuries to power South Africa to an imposing score.
Kallis slammed unbeaten 104 in 94 balls with three sixes and five fours while de Villiers (102), who scored his second ton on the trot in the series, carted the bowlers for three sixes and eleven fours in his 59-ball innings.
The duo's 173-run partnership came in only 103 balls as the inexperienced Indian attack was exposed thoroughly on the feather-bed of a pitch at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera.
Amla, who missed out on a well-deserved ton, was caught by Murali Vijay off Jadeja at deep square leg.
For India, all the three speedsters leaked 205 runs, with Sreesanth conceding as many as 83 runs and ending wicket-less.
Chasing a mammoth 366 for victory were off to a poor start. Dinesh Karthik and debutant Murali Vijay did give a decent start, but they failed to maintain the run-rate.
The openers failed to replicate the start that Sachin Tedulkar and Virender Sehwag gave in the second ODI as the hosts were reduced to 40 for two in 5.2 overs.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli then joined hands and forged a 95-run second wicket partnership to resurrect the innings but with the run-rate pilling up each moment, the former perished in pursuit of quick runs.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a towering six over long-on in the third ball he faced but a brilliant catch by Mark Boucher off Dale Steyn in the next over cut short his innings.
Steyn struck again, removing Kohli in the last ball of the same over as India were looking down the barrel at 157 for five in 28 overs.
Needing 201 runs from 21 overs, Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja (36) threw their bat at everything.
Even debutante Abhimanyu Mithun provided some fireworks, hitting consecutive sixes of Johan Botha in the 41st over but it was too little too late in the end.