Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten century but was running out of partners as India and South Africa battled for first innings honours on the third day of the second Test on Monday.
Kohli had scored 141 not out at lunch in an Indian total of 287 for eight, 48 runs behind South Africa’s first innings total of 335 at SuperSport Park.
India are scrambling to get back into the series after losing the first Test.
Ravichandran Ashwin hit 38 in a seventh wicket partnership of 71 before he and Mohammed Shami fell in quick succession shortly before lunch in the first two overs with the second new ball.
Resuming on 85, Kohli took two boundaries and a three off Lungi Ngidi in the fourth over of the morning to move to 97.
Two singles off Kagiso Rabada took him to 99 and a scampered single off Ngidi — which turned into two because of an overthrow — enabled him to reach his 21st Test century off 146 balls which included no fewer than ten fours.
India, who had resumed on 183 for five in reply to South Africa’s first innings of 335, lost Hardik Pandya for 15 in the over after Kohli reached his milestone when he was run out by a direct hit from Vernon Philander at mid-on.
He was over the line but failed to ground his foot or his bat before the stumps were hit.
Kohli was largely untroubled on an easy-paced pitch but Ashwin had to survive some hostile short-pitched bowling from Rabada before he went on the counter-attack, hitting seven fours in a 54-ball innings.
© Agence France-Presse