India pegged South Africa back with three quick wickets before the hosts reached 181/3 at lunch on day three of the series-deciding second and final cricket Test here today.
Ravindra Jadeja (2-52) and Mohammad Shami (1-41) did the trick for India as the Proteas were reduced to 113/3 starting from their overnight 82/0. Then, Jacques Kallis (26 not out) and AB de Villiers (39 not out) put on 68 runs for the fourth-wicket to steady the ship until lunch.
India started the proceedings with Ishant Sharma (0-43), even as Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen looked to further their opening stand. It looked that way for much of the first couple of overs, runs coming at ease with the latter reaching his seventh half-century in 28 Tests. He brought up the mark in the 22nd over of the innings, the second of the day.
Two overs later, Jadeja almost had his man, with captain-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni effecting a very smart stumping. But the curve of Petersen's boot in one of the replays appeared to be behind the line and allowed the third umpire to rule in his favour. Their 100-run stand came in the 27th over, and in the very next,
Jadeja, who had been looking to take a wicket, finally struck. Smith went down the track, for a big shot over mid-on, but only sent the ball in the air over mid-wicket. Shikhar Dhawan, running back, completed a stunning catch to give India their first wicket.