India A 204 for 4 (Samson 91, Dhawan 51, Iyer 36, Beuran Hendricks 2-29, Linde 2-43) beat South Africa A 168 all out (Reeza Hendricks 59, Verreynne 44, Thakur 3-9, Washington 2-39) by 36 runs 20 overs per side
South Africa A did hit back with a four-run (DLS method) win in the fourth one-dayer, but India A, who had won the first three games, showed that it was just a blip as they were dominant again in registering a 36-run win in the final game in Thiruvananthapuram, which gave them a 4-1 series win.
In a match reduced to 20 overs a side following rain, the Indians opted to bat and rode on big hands from Sanju Samson and Shikhar Dhawan to put up 204 for 4. Shardul Thakur then led the show with the ball as the South Africans were bowled out for 168 off the last ball.
Dhawan, included in the side for the last two games after completing his recovery - he had broken a thumb, forcing his World Cup campaign to end prematurely - had a worry early on as a Beuran Hendricks delivery hit his helmet in the third over. The batsman had walked across the stumps to try and play the scoop, but took his eyes off and got hit near the left ear.
He was treated immediately, and continued batting, playing till the 14th over for a 36-ball 51 with five fours and two sides. The end came when he was caught by Kyle Verreynne attempting a slog-sweep off left-arm spinner George Linde, but by then he had helped the Indians get to 137, his partnership with Samson for the second wicket worth 135 runs after Prashant Chopra had fallen early.
Samson, batting beautifully, carried on and was in sight of a century before Linde had his number too, the batsman falling for 91 off 48 balls, with six fours and seven sixes, with 25 balls left in the innings.
Shreyas Iyer, the captain, put the finishing touches to an excellent batting effort with a 19-ball 36, and South Africa were faced with a steep ask against a well-oiled bowling machine.
The required rate for the visitors was over ten an over, but they only got to 40 for 2 by the end of the six-over mark, losing Janneman Malan to Thakur and Temba Bavuma to Ishan Porel along the way.
That meant there was too much to do for the other top-order batsmen, and though Reeza Hendricks and Verreynne put together a 69-run stand for the third wicket - Hendricks scored 59 and Verreynne 44 - they were always lagging behind the asking rate.
Heinrich Klaasen, the other prominent batsman in the line-up, couldn't quite kick on either, and the South Africans finished well short, Thakur's 3 for 9 from three overs quite the standout bowling performance in a convincing win.
The teams now get ready for the first of two four-day matches, in Thiruvananthapuram, with the second in Mysuru, starting September 9.