Munaf Patel was named Man of the Match for his match-winning spell of 4/29.
Johannesburg: India staged a stunning comeback to defend a paltry 190-run target to win the second ODI by just one run and square the five-match series 1-1 here on Saturday.
Hashim Amla was the first South African wicket to fall when the in-form Proteas opener fell for four. Graeme Smith and Colin Ingram (25) then steadied South Africa's ship with a 59-run stand to put the hosts on course for a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Proteas skipper Smith (77) led the chase with an important fifty but fell at the most ill-fated moment for his team to become Munaf Patel's second wicket in a dream spell of 8-0-29-4.
But before Smith's wicket, Ashish Nehra scalped the dangerous AB de Villiers (8) to keep India in hunt of an unlikely victory as South Africa lost their third wicket at the score of 77.
Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan then returned towards the end and combined to spark a South African collapse that saw them losing their last seven wickets for just 69 runs. Munaf Patel was named Man of the Match for his match-winning spell.
In the evening, lack of discipline by India's batsmen coupled with a fine spell of fast bowling by Lonwabo Tsotsobe helped South Africa bowl the visitors out for 190.
Tsotsobe finished with impressive figures of four for 22, while Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel took two wickets each as India lost their last seven wickets for just 40 runs, at the Wanderers Stadium here.
India lost four wickets for 14 runs in the third powerplay, after managing 54 in the first two.
The left-arm pacer worked his magic after Yuvraj Singh (53 off 68 balls) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (38 off 61) revived India's innings with a 83-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
From 150 for three, they were soon reeling at 184 for nine, thanks to Tsotsobe who took the wickets of Murali Vijay, Yuvraj, Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
Batting first after winning the toss, Sachin Tendulkar and Vijay gave India a sedate start, before Vijay fell with just 21 on the board.
Tendulkar and one-down bat Virat Kohli then steadied the innings, but a flourishing 42-run partnership was broken when the Delhi boy was run out by David Miller's direct hit.
Tendulkar, who today equalled Sanath Jaysuriya's record as the most capped player (444 ODIs) in this format of the game, played a few aggressive shots before being stunned by a Johan Botha turner.
At 63 for three, India were not in a very comfortable position, but Yuvraj and Dhoni played sensibly to steady things.
After spending some time in the middle, Yuvraj got into groove with paddle-sweep four off JP Duminy.
He then guided Morkel over backward point for another boundary.
Yuvraj brought his half century in style when leg-glanced Tsotsobe. It was full in length and on the pads and Yuvraj tucked it away to fine-leg.
A moment of indiscretion soon after reaching his fifty however brought to an end Yuvraj's innings. Tsotsobe pitched one up luring Yuvraj to go for the drive. The left-hander went for it, but only managed an uppish drive for Steyn to complete a simple catch at mid-off.
Earlier, Vijay flicked Steyn to the boundary in the fourth ball of the first over to open India's account and then hit another boundary in the next over off Tsotsobe.
But the scoring rate dropped thereafter. The first five overs yielded just 12 runs as Steyn and Tsotsobe beat the Indian openers repeatedly with pace and bounce.
The opening pair managed to put on 21 runs on the board before Tsotsobe got rid of Vijay (16). Trying to go for a mighty heave, Vijay could not connect giving a catch to Morkel at mid-on.
Wayne Parnell was then introduced into the attack in the 11th over and his first over proved costly with the Indians getting ten runs, with both Tendulkar and Kohli hitting a boundary each.
Tendulkar and Kohli gradually settled down and took India's score to 60 for one at the first drinks break.
But just when the pair was looking to consolidate India's position, Kohli was run out trying to steal a non-existent run. Kohli pushed the ball towards cover point and set off for a run but Tendulkar sent him back. He made a desperate attempt to reach the crease but could not beat Miller's direct hit.
India suffered their biggest blow a few minutes later when Botha accounted for the wicket of Tendulkar who fell to a ball which kept a little low and came on to the bat slower. He tried to punch the ball but only managed to edge it onto his stumps.