South Africa endured a day of mixed fortunes on the second day of the 1st Test as the India attack ensured a spectacular top-order collapse for the hosts.
The Proteas finished the day on 213-6 to trail the visitors by 67 runs in Johannesburg on Thursday after allowing a commanding 130-1 slip after losing five top-order wickets for just 16 runs in response to India's first innings total of 280.
On a successful day for bowlers, Vernon Philander skittled the remaining Indian innings as the visitors lost their last five wickets for just 16 runs in a blistering start to the day for South Africa.
The seamer was in fine form as he moved to 99 Test wickets after a haul of 4-61.
Morne Morkel took the first wicket of the day when India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19) edged the ball to wicket-keeper AB De Villiers.
Philander then took the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and Zaheer Khan before plundering Ishant Sharma for a duck. Morkel took the final wicket of Mohammed Shami for another 0.
|M Vijay||c †de Villiers b Morkel||6||69||42|
|S Dhawan||c Imran Tahir b Steyn||13||37||27|
|CA Pujara||run out (Imran Tahir/Amla)||25||148||98|
|V Kohli||c Duminy b Kallis||119||257||181|
|RG Sharma||c †de Villiers b Philander||14||46||42|
|AM Rahane||c †de Villiers b Philander||47||200||137|
|MS Dhoni||c †de Villiers b Morkel||19||104||72|
|R Ashwin||not out||11||24||13|
|Z Khan||lbw b Philander||0||2||1|
|I Sharma||b Philander||0||11||4|
|Mohammed Shami||b Morkel||0||7||3|
|Extras||(b 4, lb 6, w 14, nb 2)||26|
However, after a promising start to South Africa's first innings, a dramatic collapse left the hosts trailing India by the end of the day.
Graeme Smith had made his way to an unbeaten half-century by tea as the South Africans reached the interval at 118 for the loss of just one wicket.
Smith took full advantage of being dropped by first slip Ravichandran Ashwin off Zaheer Khan when he had 19 to progress the Proteas' innings.
The unlucky Proteas batsman to depart was Alviro Petersen (21) with the score at 37 when he was trapped leg before wicket by Ishant Sharma.
Sharma (3-64) and Shami (2-48) were in excellent form as they struck, seemingly at will, after tea.
|GC Smith||lbw b Khan||68||119|
|AN Petersen||lbw b I Sharma||21||61||41|
|HM Amla||b I Sharma||36||117||74|
|JH Kallis||lbw b I Sharma||0||2||1|
|AB de Villiers||lbw b Mohammed Shami||13||32||21|
|JP Duminy||lbw b Mohammed Shami||2||22||12|
|F du Plessi||not out||17||55|
|VD Philander||not out||48||76|
|Extras||(lb 4, w 1, nb 3)||8|
|Total||(6 wickets; 66 overs)||213|
Jacques Kallis went for a golden duck before Smith fell at 68 after being caught leg before off Khan.
The crucial capture of De Villiers' wicket soon followed for just 13 runs after JP Duminy had edged Shami to Murali Vijay at first slip for just two runs.
Philander (48 not out) again proved to be crucial for South Africa as his unbeaten partnership with Faf du Plessis (17 not out) steadied the innings before the close of play.
But South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has warned that the unbeaten partnership of 67 does not mean the hosts are out of danger, as Reuters.com reported.
Some of the dismissals didn't have much to do with the pitch but the wicket is offering quite a lot to the seamers, they just have to get the right length.
We are not out of the woods yet but we have started a bit of a recovery.
You can see now that 280 is a pretty good total on this wicket, so chasing anything like that in the fourth innings is going to be tough.