Cape Town:South African captain Graeme Smith blasted 85 off 79 balls to guide his team to a seven-wicket win on the fourth day of the second Test against the West Indies at Newlands here today.
Smith's innings enabled South Africa to square the series with one match to play.
Victory with a day to spare seemed unlikely after a heroic effort by West Indian skipper Chris Gayle extended his team's innings until tea and left South Africa needing 185 to win.
But Smith and AB de Villiers got the chase off to a flying start with an opening stand of 57 in nine overs and the tempo was maintained as Hashim Amla helped Smith add 83 in 17 overs for the second wicket.
Amla and Smith were out in successive overs to leg-spinner Rawl Lewis but Jacques Kallis and Ashwell Prince took South Africa home 3.2 overs into the final eight after the extra half hour was claimed to achieve a result.
Gayle batted with a broken left thumb and shared a last wicket partnership of 70 runs with Shivnarine Chanderpaul that kept the West Indies' hopes alive before Smith's assault.
Chanderpaul again stood firm for the tourists. He was unbeaten on 70 after batting for 299 minutes and facing 168 balls.
Gayle hit 38, with 37 of the runs coming off 29 balls in the last wicket stand before he was caught at long-on off Dale Steyn after hitting four fours and three sixes.
Gayle was struck on the thumb by a delivery from Andre Nel four balls into the first over of the day.
After lengthy treatment on the field he retired hurt without adding to his overnight score of one.
X-rays showed he had a fractured thumb but he returned to the wicket when his side were nine down and only 114 runs ahead.
Gayle, batting with a runner because of a hamstring injury, swung powerfully whenever the ball was in his range although it was obvious he was in pain.