Kolkata: India took firm control of the Kolkata Test against South Africa by restricting them to 266 for nine wickets despite brilliant centuries by Hashim Amla and debutant Alviro Petersen on the first day on Sunday.
Indian spearhead Zaheer Khan and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh claimed three wickets each to push South Africa on the defensive, after Amla and Petersen took advantage of good batting conditions to have a 209-run partnership for the second wicket.
India vs South Africa, 2nd Test - Scorecard
Electing to bat first after winning the toss for the second time, South Africa skipper Graeme Smith (four) fell early trying to defend Khan"s delivery.
Debutant Petersen (100 off 226 balls) fell soon after reaching his century edging an intended drive off Zaheer (3-77) to skipper and wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Khan took the wickets of both the centurions in space of 11 runs, as Amla, who scored 114 off 164 balls with the help of 14 boundaries and six, was caught behind off Khan.
Petersen became only the third South African after Andrew Hudson and Jacques Rudolph to score a Test century on debut, while Amla followed his unbeaten 253 off 473 deliveries in the first Test with another three-figure knock, his ninth in 43 matches.
Jacques Kallis (12), Ashwell Prince (one), Jean-Paul Duminy (0) failed to make an impact and were dismissed by Harbhajan, who finished with figures of three wickets of 60 runs before play was suspended due to bad light.
Leg-spinner Amit Mishra proved expensive with figures of 0-65 from 17 overs, while fast bowler Ishant Sharma conceded 52 runs from 12 wicketless overs.
India is 1-0 down in the two game series, after having lost the Nagpur Test by an innings and six runs.
Team India"s number one Test ranking is in danger of being handed over to South Africa if they lose the series while a draw will see them retain the top spot.