Half centuries from Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan, followed up with brilliant bowling performance from Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal helped India beat South Africa by 48 runs in the third T20 international to stay alive at Visakhapatnam on Tuesday.
Proteas skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss for the third successive time and elected to field first. Indian openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan got India off to a fantastic start.
The duo put on 97 runs for the opening wicket before the former chipped a return catch to left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj for a well made 57.
Shreyas Iyer (14) who got an leg before wicket verdict off Tabraiz Shamsi overturned, fell a couple of balls later, mistiming a sweep to Anrich Nortje at square leg.
Dwaine Pretorius then got into the act by dismissing the well set Ishan Kishan, caught at deep extra cover by Reeza Hendricks for a 35 ball-54.
Skipper Rishabh Pant (6) who was given a reprieve, failed to capitalize and ended up slicing a catch to Bavuma at mid off.
All rounder Hardik Pandya (31*) scored some lusty blows in the end to take India to a fighting score of 179/5 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing 180, South Africa lost Bavuma (8) early in the chase, caught at mid on by Avesh Khan off Axar Patel.
Reeza Hendricks (23) who looked good during his short stay, miscued a slower ball from Harshal Patel to Yuzvendra Chahal at mid off.
Chahal pegged the visitors back with wickets of Rassie van der Dussen and Dwaine Pretorius in quick succession, as the visitors slumped to 57/4.
The Proteas lost half their side for 71, when the in form David Miller (3) chipped a catch to Gaikwad at extra cover off Harshal .
Chahal then dented the visitors hopes by dismissing the last match hero Heinrich Klaasen (29), caught at extra cover by Axar.
Harshal then wrapped up the tail, as South Africa were bundled out for 131 in 19.1 overs.
The fourth T-20 international will be played in Rajkot on Friday, June 17.