A determined Gautam Gambhir and a serene Sachin Tendulkar took India to 142 for 2 at stumps on the second day of the deciding third Test against South Africa in Cape Town yesterday.
After Jacques Kallis had struck a masterful 161 to lift the hosts to 362 all out, Gambhir survived three chances on the way to 65 not out and Tendulkar used the experience of his 176 Tests to make 49 not out.
The pair shared a third-wicket stand of 114 in nearly three hours after India had slumped to 28 for 2 shortly before tea, leaving them in peril as they seek their first series win in South Africa.
Tendulkar's only scare came on 24 when left-arm spinner Paul Harris thought he had trapped him lbw but umpire Simon Taufel gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt, with replays showing the ball would have hit the outside of leg stump.
Gambhir and Tendulkar lifted India after Virender Sehwag (13) and Rahul Dravid (5) were out inside the first 11 overs.
India had struggled to finish off South Africa as the last two wickets added 79 runs, with Kallis well supported by the tail-enders Harris and Lonwabo Tsotsobe.