Dale Steyn unsuccessfully appeals for the wicket of Suresh Raina [AFP]

Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers scored unbeaten centuries in a 173-run stand as South Africa beat India by 90 runs in the final one-day international in Ahmedabad but lost 2-1 in the three-match series.

Kallis made 104 off 94 balls while De Villiers hit 102 off 59 balls to record the seventh fastest ODI century in South Africa's total of 365-2, the team's highest against India.

India briefly threatened but were bowled out for 275 in 44.3 overs after opening bowlers Dale Steyn claimed 3-37 and Lonwabo Tsotsobe 3-58. Virat Kohli top-scored with 57.

"The wicket turned out to be a lot better than we thought. It proved if you get a good start, you can cash in on the death overs,'' Kallis said.

"AB's knock was special and got us from 300 to 360.''

South Africa lost the first ODI by one run at Jaipur before Tendulkar's record double century earned India a 153-run win Wednesday at Gwalior.

Steyn steamroller

India missed the rested opening pair of Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, struggling as wickets fell with regular intervals.

Steyn's two wickets in his return spell took the steam out of India. The South African fast bowler had captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught on 9 by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, as was Kohli.

Boucher should have finished with five catches in the match after television replays clearly showed Yusuf Pathan on 5 had got a big deflection down the leg side but the 'keeper was denied by Indian umpire Sanjay Hazare.

Earlier, in-form Hashim Amla made 87 and Loots Bosman 68 to give South Africa a launching pad after Kallis won the toss and elected to bat.

Amla and Bosman combined for a 113-run opening stand before Bosman tried an ambitious stroke from spinner Yusuf Pathan and holed out in the deep in the 16th over. Bosman hit seven fours and four sixes.

Good form

ODI scorecard

South Africa innings

L Bosman c Jadeja b Pathan 68
H Amla c Vijay b Jadeja 87
J Kallis not out 104
AB de Villiers not out 102
Extras 4
Total (for two wkts; 50 overs) 365
Fall of wickets: 1-113 2-192

India innings

D Karthik c Amla b Steyn 11
M Vijay c Boucher b Tsotsobe 25
V Kohli c Boucher b Steyn 57
R Sharma c Tsotsobe b Botha 48
M Dhoni c Boucher b Steyn 9
S Raina c sub b Botha 49
Y Pathan c Steyn b Tsotsobe 5
R Jadeja c Boucher b Tsotsobe 36
S Sreesanth lbw b van der Merwe 1
A Mithun st Boucher b van der Merwe 24
S Tyagi not out 1
Extras 9
Total (all out; 44.3 overs) 275
Fall of wickets: 1-22 2-40 3-135 4-156 5-157 6-179 7-233 8-237 9-273.

Amla continued his fine form from the preceding Test series and added 79 with Kallis before he top-edged a slog sweep off left-arm spinner Ravinder Jadeja. Amla's 103-ball knock contained eight fours.

Kallis imperiously lifted paceman Shanthakumaran Sreesanth for successive sixes in the penultimate over to raise his 17th century in limited-over internationals.

De Villiers followed his skipper in the last over with a six and a four off part-time spinner Rohit Sharma.

India's second-string bowlers struggled to restrict their opponents - especially in the last five overs in which De Villiers and Kallis put on 78.

Debutant fast bowler Abhimanyu Mithun and Sudeep Tyagi conceded 19 runs each during the last five overs as both South African batsmen cut lose and took South Africa to their best ever total in an ODI against India.

Jadeja took 1-53 and Pathan 1-66 with Sreesanth claiming 0-83, Mithun 0-63 and Tyagi 0-59.

"It was a difficult score to chase as the wicket was on a slow side,'' Dhoni said.

"We didn't got the ideal sort of start but they bowled really well.''

Source: AP