After a spectacular collapse in the morning on Day 3, the spinners took India to victory as South Africa, chasing a score of 218, succumbed to the guiles of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja again.
India looked to have thrown away their advantage, collapsing from 161/2 to 200 all out, leaving South Africa needed a difficult but definitely not impossible 218 for victory, especially with the players of Hashim Amla, AB De Villiers and Faf Du Plessis' ilk in the team.
However, the South Africa superstars failed to produce the good with the bat, as Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin (14-5-39-3) left the away team reeling on 10/3, before Amit Mishra (8-0-26-1) picked up the only wicket that seems to matter nowadays – that of De Villiers -- to leave South Africa reeling at 56/5 in 21 overs at Tea, needing another 162 runs for victory.
Stiaan Van Zyl (36, 82b, 6x4), Dane Vilas (7, 22b) and Simon Harmer (11, 30b, 1x4) did their best to keep hopes intact, but it was only a matter of time, and that time came at 3.42 pm when Ravindra Jadeja (11.5-4-21-5) completed his five-for by trapping Imran Tahir in front. South Africa finished on 109 all out in 39.5 overs, to give India a 108-run victory and a 1-0 series lead.
Earlier, India threw away their advantage, as South Africa's own spinners – Simon Harmer and Imran Tahir – wreaked havoc.
A big collapse – and India continue to show the penchant to do that – ended all that "we are calling the shots" feeling in a hurry, with South Africa picking up the final eight wickets in a hurry.
Starting from 125 for two on Day 3, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli took India to 161/2, albeit a little slowly, before disaster struck.
With Amla not confident the spinners can stem the run flow – much of that was done by the two pacers Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada, with Dale Steyn still absent with that groin injury – Hashim Amla was forced to go for the slow medium option of Stiaan Van Zyl, and the part-timer struck, finding a thin outside edge of Kohli (29, 71b, 4x4), with Dane Vilas taking a brilliant catch while standing up to the stumps.
From there it was the wicket-train express, with Cheteshwar Pujara (77, 153b, 6x4, 1x6) giving Imran Tahir a wicket off his first ball of the morning, edging one through to Amla at first slip, before Ajinkya Rahane showed his poor technique against the spinners again, playing a defensive push way, way ahead of his pads and inside edging one to Temba Bavuma at short leg.
Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha looked to stem the rot, but 14 runs later, Jadeja was trapped in front by Simon Harmer, with the off-spinner also picking up Amit Mishra, sent in ahead of R Ashwin again, after the batsman went for an ill-advised sweep shot.
Ashwin could not do the hanging around job for too long either, falling to Tahir in the first ball of the final over before Lunch, making it a sweet, sweet session for South Africa, a session in which they took six wickets in 29.1 overs, while conceding just 60 runs.
That left India on 185/8, with the lead only at 202. An over later, the second one after Lunch, and Umesh Yadav played one onto his stumps, before Wriddhiman Saha (20, 58b, 3x4) scored some runs to take India's second innings score to exactly 200, leaving South Africa a chase of 218 for victory, a target which proved to be well beyond them.