South Africa, sixth within the Worldwide Cricket Council Check rankings, beat top-ranked India by seven wickets to clinch the three-match collection 2-1.
It was a tense chase, with South Africa having to work for nearly each run after being set to make 212 on a pitch which gave help to the quick bowlers.
Petersen, on 59, survived an easy likelihood to Cheteshwar Pujara at first slip off Jasprit Bumrah within the seventh over of the day.
Petersen went on so as to add 23 extra priceless runs as he and Rassie van der Dussen (41 not out) placed on 54 runs after resuming on the in a single day 101 for 2.
Van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma (32 not out) took South Africa to victory 35 minutes after lunch with an unbeaten stand of 57.
South Africa appeared up in opposition to it after India stormed to victory within the first Check earlier than the hosts levelled in Johannesburg to go on for a memorable collection success.