India's pace bowlers staged a dramatic turnaround with a devastating exhibition of swing bowling as South Africa suffered a stunning collapse to leave the first cricket Test more or less on an even keel here today.
The Indians lost five wickets for just 25 runs to be bundled out for 280 in their first innings but clawed back brilliantly to leave the hosts at 213 for six at close in an action-packed second day.
The hosts were cruising along comfortably at 130 for one before the Indian pacers wreaked havoc to completely change the complexion of the game on a Wanderers track which gave assistance to the quick bowlers.
It was Ishant who sparked a South African collapse in which five wickets fell for 16 runs after tea. The hosts had progressed to 130 for one when Hashim Amla padded up to a ball which swung back in and clipped the top of his off stump.
South African stalwart Jacques Kallis was next in - and fell first ball, leg before wicket to a full delivery from the tall Sharma.
Kallis, who turned 38 in October, has endured a lean run since making 50 against Pakistan at the same venue in February. His Test scores since then have been 7, 2, 21, 5, 0, 7 and 0.
Without addition to the score, South African captain Graeme Smith was leg before to Zaheer Khan for a battling 68. Smith had seldom looked comfortable during his 111-ball innings and was dropped at first slip off Khan when he had 19. When he was eventually dismissed it was the seventh time he had fallen to Khan in 10 Tests and 14th overall across all formats, with 68 being the highest Smith has managed in those 14 innings.
Faf du Plessis and Philander steadied the South African innings with an unbroken seventh wicket partnership of 67. Du Plessis defended doggedly to finish the day on 17 not out off 55 balls, while Philander had more of the strike and played with more freedom to make 48 not out off 76 deliveries.
Du Plessis was dropped on 17 shortly before the close when he edged Shami to second slip where Rohit Sharma put down a regulation chance.
Sharma was twice warned by umpire Rod Tucker for running on to the "danger area" of the pitch between wicket and wicket. A further warning would mean he would be taken out of the attack.
South Africa's was the second significant collapse of the day. Philander and Morne Morkel earlier ripped through India's lower order batsmen as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 16 runs.
Earlier, Philander picked up three quick wickets as South Africa packed off India for 280 in the first hour of play.
The visitors had begun at their overnight score of 255 for five, but could only add 25 runs for the loss of five wickets as Philander took three wickets for just six runs.
He finished with impressive figures of four for 61 from 27 overs, while Morne Morkel picked up three for 34, adding another two from last evening.
Resuming at 255 for five in heavily overcast conditions after overnight and early morning rain, Ajinkya Rahane and Mahendra Singh Dhoni made cautious progress against tight bowling from Dale Steyn, Philander and Morkel.
Only nine runs were scored, including three leg byes and just three scoring shots, before Morkel made the breakthrough with the last ball of the ninth over of the day when Dhoni was caught behind for 19.
Four balls later, Rahane went the same way against Philander for 47. Zaheer Khan went back on his stumps and was palpably leg before wicket to the next ball.
Ishant and Shami were bowled by Philander and Morkel respectively, both without scoring, leaving Ravichandran Ashwin stranded on 11 not out.
Philander finished with four for 61 after taking three for six in six overs on Thursday and Morkel took three for 34 in 23 overs.