South Africa captain AB de Villiers always felt comfortable chasing down England's imposing total at Centurion after the Proteas kept the one-day international series alive on Tuesday.
England were unable to claim an unassailable 3-0 lead as South Africa won the third ODI by seven wickets at SuperSport Park, with Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla the architects.
Joe Root's 125 helped England to an impressive 318-8 but the Proteas chased down the total with 22 balls remaining thanks to De Kock (135) and Amla (127), who combined for a 239-run opening partnership.
"We were up for it today. We played the better cricket and deserved to win. I thought the boys played really well," De Villiers said.
"We had a bit of urgency and hunger in the field. We've not had the greatest series until today but that shows the attitude we have.
"We have a little bit of local knowledge. I'm from here and so are a couple of guys in the team and we feel it's definitely a chasing kind of wicket.
"I didn't win the toss but I was going to bowl first anyway. It's very difficult to defend here at night."
South Africa can level the series at 2-2 when they host England in Johannesburg on Friday.