Spin duo of Shahbaz Nadeem and Krishnappa Gowtham brought India A back into the match in the final session as South Africa ended the first day on 258 for 5 in the second and final 'unofficial' Test.
Nadeem (2/101 in 32 overs) and Gowtham (2/67 in 29 overs) shared the spoils after a 167-run opening stand between Stephen Cook (98) and skipper Aiden Markram (74).
It was another patient knock from Cook, who hit nine boundaries and a six off 205 balls while Markram faced 145 balls, hitting six fours and a six.
Markram was finally caught by substitute Hanuma Vihari off Gowtham's delivery.
Cook was then caught by Sudeep Chatterjee off Nadeem as South Africa were 175 for 2. David Miller (13) was cleaned up by Gowtham while Jason Smith (4) was trapped leg-before by Navdeep Saini.
South Africa A were reduced to 207 for 5 when Heinrich Klassen (7) was bowled by Nadeem.
Brief Scores: South Africa A 258/5 (Stephen Cook 98, Aiden Markram 74, Shahbaz Nadeem 2/101, Krishnappa Gowtham 2/67) vs India A.