Three quick wickets in the last hour of the game brought back India in the game as South Africa finished day 1 of second Test at 269/6.
A 47-run stand between Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla looked like taking the fuel out of Indian camp but a superb run-out from Hardik Pandya on the non-striker end in his followthrough caught Hashim Amla short of crease. Ashwin then got the better of Quinton de Kock before another run out pegged back the hosts.
Earlier opting to bat first, South Africa were cruising. A 85-run opening stand was followed by 63 runs stand between Amla and Aidern Markram. Markram fell 6 short of his century but Amla then added 51 runs with AB de Villiers. Once ABD was dismissed by Ishant Sharma, Amla then added 47 runs with Faf.
At the close of play, Plessis (24*) was joined by Keshav Maharaj (10*) on the crease.
Ashwin picked up 3 wickets while Amla, who was dropped twice on 16 and 30, scored 82.