Ahmedabad: South Africa strengthened their chances of winning the second Test against India when they grabbed three quick wickets in the morning session at the Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera here on Saturday.
India, trailing by 418, were rattled by pace for a second successive time as they reached 95-3 in their second innings at lunch on the third day. Venkatsai Laxman was unbeaten on 19 and Sourav Ganguly on 10 at the break.
Seamers Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel and Jacques Kallis each bagged one wicket after their team had declared their first innings at their overnight total of 494-7 in reply to India's 76.
India, who lasted just 20 overs in the first innings, started on an aggressive note when opener Virender Sehwag smashed fast bowler Dale Steyn for two sixes in the morning's first over.
Sehwag, who scored the fastest recorded Test triple-century in the drawn opening match in Chennai, did not last long as he was trapped leg-before by Ntini after contributing 17.
Former India captain Rahul Dravid also made 17 before being undone by a rising ball from Morkel, with AB de Villiers holding the catch at third slip.
Opener Wasim Jaffer nearly fell in Morkel's opening over when he fended off a rising delivery, but short-leg fielder Hashim Amla could not reach the ball just behind the stumps, despite making a fine diving attempt.
The Indian opener Jaffer (19) did not survive long against pace as he edged Kallis to De Villiers in the slips to leave his team tottering at 70-3.
The final Test starts in Kanpur on April 11.
Brief Scores (at lunch, D-3):
India 76 and 92/3 (Jaffer 19, Dravid 17, Sehwag 17, Laxman 19 n o; Kallis 1 for 13, Ntini 1 for 22, Morkel 1 for 20) Vs South Africa Ist innings 494/7 decl.