Mohali, Nov 6: Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin picked up three wickets to reduce South Africa to 127/5 at lunch in their first innings on the second day of the first Test in reply to India's score of 201 here on Friday.
AB de Villiers (26) and Vernon Philander were at the crease when lunch was called. The visiting team resumed play at 28/2 on Friday. They now trail India by 74 runs, having scored 99 runs in the session.
Ashwin grabbed three wickets in the first session to have match figures so far of four wickets for 36 runs.
Ashwin dismissed both overnight batsmen Hashim Amla (43) and Dean Elgar (37) after the duo put on a 76-run third-wicket partnership.
They were cautious but made steady progress on a slow and low wicket. The duo were surrounded by close-in fielders who negotiated the spin threat from the Indian bowlers.
Ashwin extracted a lot of spin from the wicket and forced Dean Elgar (37) into an an error. The left-handed batsman attempted a sweep, succeeding only in offering a catch. Elgar's hard-working 123-ball stay at the wicket was laced with just two boundaries.
Ashwin then made further inroads, picking up Hashim Amla (34) who was stumped and then sent Dane Vilas (1) back three balls later to leave the visitors in a spot of bother.