Keegan Petersen had little time to limber up before he took a spectacular catch to remove Cheteshwar Pujara.
Proteas fast bowler Marco Jansen was still finding his range but sent down a venomous delivery which Pujara could only fend away.
The ball appeared to be headed for the fine leg fence but Petersen, stationed at leg slip, moved sharply to his right to bag an absolute screamer.
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Watch: Keegan Petersen takes stunning catch
After a difficult second day the Proteas came out looking to get quick wickets to put India under pressure and Jansen and Petersen duly delivered.
Petersen led the way for the Proteas with the bat on day two, scoring 72 as South Africa were bowled out for 210.
The young Dolphins star believed that the Proteas left a few runs out on the park on Wednesday.
Reacting to a tough day
“I think we sold ourselves short with the bat in terms of the runs. If we could have passed them and get a bit of a lead we would be happy.
“I think that was the plan coming into the day to bat as long as we could. It’s not for lack of trying. It’s just eluding us at the moment,” Petersen said as quoted by IOL.
“It’s extremely challenging out there. It is the toughest of my whole career.
“You have to be focused and on your mark all the time, otherwise they will expose you. They test you in terms of scoring.
“There are not many scoring opportunities. If the one does come then you have to pounce on it.
“They are arguably one of the best bowling attacks in the world. We knew that coming into the series that it would be challenging.
“We are a bit behind the eight ball going into day three,” Petersen said.
“I think if we can pick up a few early wickets tomorrow (Thursday) morning it will be key, especially the two batters at the crease now.
“They have been a bit of a headache for us in the last couple of innings. If we can get two or three wickets it will be different.”