Vernon Philander led the South African fight-back as a batting collapse saw their early advantage pegged back in the first Test against India.

Philander’s side lost five wickets in the space of 15 runs as the Proteas went from a comfortable position of 130-1 to 145-6 on day two in Johannesburg.

South Africa closed on 213-6, 67 runs behind India but will be very unhappy after losing their early initiative they got from the explosive morning session.

The tourists resumed on 255-5 mainly thanks to Virat Kohli’s wonderful century on the opening day however some inspired bowling saw them lose the last five wickets for just 25 runs.

Philander (4-61) and fellow fast bowler Morne Morkel (3-34) brutally saw off the tail putting their side on the front-foot.

The home side lost opener Alviro Petersen shortly after the lunch break for 21 but Captain Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla built a solid platform putting on 93 and moving the score to 130-1 however a pivotal spell was to follow.

Amla who had got himself set was then bowled by Indian quickie Ishant Sharma sparking a 39-ball collapse which would change the context of the game.

Out-of-form Jacques Kallis was Sharma’s third victim as he departed for a second-ball duck and Smith (68) was soon to follow with Zaheer Khan’s inswinger trapping him in front.

23-year-old rookie bowler Mohammed Shami joined in with his fellow bowlers as India looked to take control of the Test Match.

Shami had JP Duminy caught at first slip for two before the influential AB De Villiers was given out LBW two balls later on 13.

Philander who was star of the morning showcased his all-round credentials though as he and team-mate Faf du Plessis (17 not out) took South Africa from 146-6 to 213-6.

Big Vern as he is known hit five fours in his 48 not out leaving him two away from what will be his third fifty in Test Cricket and coming in timely fashion for the hosts who will need plenty more runs going into day three of the Test which remains firmly in the balance.

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