Skipper Vijay Zol struck yet another century in colts cricket but that wasn't enough as India U-19 lot to their South African counterparts by 10 runs in an inconsequential penultimate round robin league match of the Quadrangular U-19 tournament here on Tuesday.
Both India and South Africa are on 16 points from five matches and South Africa's win helped them shut the door on Australia with a match to go.
Put into bat, South Africa posted 257 for six with Clyde Fortuin scoring a patient 65 off 94 balls with eight boundaries.
Yaseen Valli also smashed his way to 49-ball-64 with five fours and two sixes.
In reply, India U-19 were restricted to 247 for nine in 50 overs.
Zol played a lone hand hitting 103 off 115 deliveries with the help of 10 fours and two sixes while the second highest score was that of Shubham Khajuria who made 36.
India were in control at one point of time having scored 215 for four in 43 overs. Needing only 43 runs in seven overs, India lost five wickets for only 32 runs with Zol being holed out in the deep off pacer Kagiso Rabada's (3/45 in 10 overs) bowling.
Zol had some useful partnerships like 67 for the second wicket with Khajuria, 53 for the third wicket with Shreyash Iyer (25) and 67 runs for the fourth wicket with Ricky Bhui (32).
Whenever it looked like that home team were in control, South Africa got back with a breakthrough.
On Thursday, India will play their last group league match against Australia before taking on South Africa in Saturday's final.
Brief Scores: South Africa U-19 257/6 (Clyde Fortuin 65, Yaseen Valli 64, Aamir Gani 1/38).
India U-19 247/9 (Vijay Zol 103, Shubham Khajuria 36).