Indian speedster Ishant Sharma (3/46) and off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (4 for 113), restricted South Africa to 335 in the first innings on the second day of the second cricket Test here at SuperSport Park on Sunday.
India had to bat out one over before Lunch, surprisingly bowled by Maharaj, and they did so without any alarms.
Markram and a struggling Dean Elgar (31) put on 85 for the first wicket before Elgar went down the wicket and was caught by Murali Vijay at silly mid-off, checking a drive when Ashwin bowled the ball a bit shorter so that Elgar could not reach the pitch of the ball.
The wicket is offering slow bounce to the South African seamers, uncharacteristic for the venue, and they have battled to create opportunities with the same regularity as they did in the 72-run victory in the first test at Newlands.
South Africa again opted for a four-pronged pace attack, picking new cap Lungi Ngidi in place of the injured Dale Steyn.
But then, during the last half hour, India removed three batsmen in the span of 14 deliveries, one of them being the mighty Hashim Amla for 82. India's Ishant Sharma celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of South Africa's Faf Du Plessis. However the 42 runs he shared for the eight wicket with Du Plessis, may yet prove crucial in this match.
At the other end, R Ashwin looked like getting Rabada out at any moment, confounding the left-hander with his dip and turn. The first culprit was Virat Kohli, who missed a low chance to his right at slip, and then Hardik Pandya at cover missed the next chance, a much easier one, with the ball looping off the outside edge.
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. Twice in two balls, India's fielders let off Rabada. A late-cut off Ashwin's carrom ball moved the partnership with Rabada past 40. Soon after, he had du Plessis out bowled with a full one.