South Africa pulled themselves back into the series with a great bowling performance and a calm innings from new star Tony de Zorzi.
With the series level the final match in Paarl will decide who takes home the trophy after the T20I series was shared.
Curiously, India actually played two one day internationals at Boland Park before hosts South Africa had played there for the first time.
South Africa have a very good record in Paarl, having won six of the seven ODI matches played at the venue.
To Win Match
South Africa 21/20 | Tie 25/1 | India 8/10
South Africa will take heart from a comeback win over India following successive one-sided ODIs against the tourists, even if they weren’t made to answer the big chase question.
The Proteas did manage to put India under pressure immediately by putting them in to bat at St George’s Park with Nandre Burger impressing with the venom he brought to the depleted attack.
Ottniel Baartman and Andile Phehlukwayo have both been ruled out of the final ODI, further deepening the Proteas seamer injury woes.
With Beuran Hendricks offering decent cover for Baartman the chief concern is the impact of losing an allrounder in Phehlukwayo, but that may present Mihlali Mpongwana a chance to make his international debut in Paarl.
India had the impetus rudely snatched from their grasp by a South African team that they might have thought they had the wood over and now they will need to bounce back.
They will need to be prepared to either bat first or bowl first and cannot rely on winning the toss to put themselves on the catbird seat.
Sai Sudharsan handled the pressure of a collapse going down at the other end reasonably well for a player new to the international setup which would be encouraging for his team and skipper KL Rahul.
Rahul played a key role himself but might have wanted to take things a bit further considering his wicket sparked the final fatal collapse of the Indian effort.
Verdict: South Africa 21/20
South Africa are on top and playing at a happy hunting ground. Back them to get the job done in Paarl.