The Proteas neared heavy defeat at lunch on day five of the first Test against India at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Resuming on 11-0 overnight, the tourists capitulated to 117/8 – still 278 runs shy of a challenging target or two sessions short of salvaging a draw.
Their score would have read substantially worse, had lower-order duo Senuran Muthusamy and Dane Piedt not shared an unbroken 48-run partnership for the ninth wicket.
Opener Aiden Markram pledged more through a solid 39, but was eventually dismissed by a superb one-handed return catch from spinner Ravindra Jadeja.
Captain Faf du Plessis shouldered arms to a delivery that jagged off the seam, crashing into the stumps. Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, too, was bowled by seamer Mohammed Shami’s penchant for cutting the ball into the right- and left-handers.
All-rounder Vernon Philander, who collected a second duck this match, and tailender Keshav Maharaj were dismissed lbw by Jadeja on a pitch relatively rife with turn.
Having amassed 502 runs in the first innings, the Indians again relished a significant contribution from batsman Rohit Sharma en route to 323/4 declared in the second on Saturday. The newfound opener, who hit 176 across day one and two, gathered a successive ton.
The visitors’ first innings had ended on 431 all out, thanks largely to opener Dean Elgar and De Kock – South Africa’s first Test centurions in India since 2010.
India: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Theunis de Bruyn, Temba Bavuma, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Vernon Philander, Senuran Muthusamy, Keshav Maharaj, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada.
Photo: Gallo Images