South Africa claim six wickets to storm back in Mohali
MOHALI: South Africa roared back into contention in the opening test against India by claiming six wickets on an eventful third morning that saw the hosts slump to 185 for eight in their second innings on Saturday.
Resuming on 125-2 in a low-scoring match, India's hopes of batting the visitors out of the contest received a boost when a groin injury prevented Proteas pace spearhead Dale Steyn from adding his considerable weight to the tourists' attack.
The visitors, however, refused to throw in the towel and claimed an astonishing six wickets for 24 runs to peg back India, who were cruising along at 161-2 at one stage.
Wriddhiman Saha was batting on eight, having lost partner Ravichandran Ashwin in the final delivery before lunch, with the hosts leading by 202 runs with two wickets remaining.
For India, overnight batsmen Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Virat Kohli began well, looking largely untroubled in their 66-run stand.
Part-timer Stiaan van Zyle claimed the vital breakthrough for South Africa when he induced an edge from Kohli (29) and Dane Vilas, standing up, took a good catch behind the stumps.
Leg-spinner Imran Tahir then struck a crucial blow with his first delivery of the day to dismiss Pujara, whose 77 is currently the highest individual score in the contest.
Off-spinner Simon Harmer then joined the party and struck three quick blows to wreck India's middle order in the first match of the four-test series.
Substitute fielder Temba Bavuma took a sharp catch at forward short leg to send back Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja was trapped leg before and Amit Mishra perished after his half-hearted slog.