Hashim Amla (82) consolidated South Africa's innings along with Markram and kept the scoreboard ticking until the latter fell at the team's score of 148. He struck the ball with authority, particularly off the back foot, before he tried to guide a ball from Ashwin towards third man and was caught behind by Parthiv Patel. In between those two dismissals, Quinton de Kock was out first ball off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
It is only the second match in India's 12-Test long overseas schedule in 2018-19, and already they are faced with a must-not-lose situation in a bid to keep this series alive.
Pandya made the pick-up off his own bowling, turned and ran Amla out. Bhuvneshwar's replacement, Ishant Sharma, was probing early on, beating the bat and slanting the ball efficiently across the left-handed Dean Elgar.
Ashwin admitted he was delighted to see the grass being taken off the pitch and that not only increased his prospects of playing but also extracted some turn.
Faf du Plessis (63) spearheaded the South African attack today, helping his team cross the 300 mark.More news: Swansea hold misfiring Newcastle to 1-1 draw
"It's all part of the game".
"We have to be as miserly as possible with the ball and try and dismiss them as quickly as we can".
Du Plessis held his team together until stumps and was 24 not out.
Except that Ashwin produced the hugely disappointing figures of 0-83 off 36 overs as South Africa claimed a draw, and almost won.
SuperSport Park was expected to be fast and bouncy and replicate the Cape Town pitch where India's batsmen struggled against the home quick bowlers and the top-ranked test team lost by 72 runs to fall behind in a series against its closest challenger in the rankings. Feel the area where the bowlers end their followthrough will start opening up in the days ahead which is advantage to Ashwin. He bowled 31 overs. "All of a sudden, I really had to pull myself back and think 'I am in the game now.'", Ashwin told mediapersons after the day's play on Saturday.More news: Activision Blizzard (ATVI) Rating Lowered to Hold at BidaskClub
Both Amla and de Villiers brought their 50-run stand in the sixth over of the final session but soon things started to slip for the home side.
"It was a reality check in terms of not being able to win a Test match for the country on day five when all things were set up for a spinner", said Ashwin, who went wicketless in 36 overs that day.
"Massively disappointed, " he said. He provided the inspiration while it was R Ashwin's perspiration that kept the visitors in the game on a unusual first day's play at SuperSport Park on Saturday.
A diving Parthiv was unable to hold on down the leg side after Amla edged a delivery from Ishant, who was rewarded for his endeavour by removing De Villiers, the former skipper chopping on for 20 after tea.More news: Coutinho would not have played again for Liverpool, indicates Jurgen Klopp