Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh dispersed the gloom with a sparkling performance to put India on course for victory on a rain-hit fourth day of the second Test against South Africa at the Eden Gardens.
Mishra claimed Graeme Smith (20) in a morning session which was shortened to an hour due to a wet outfield and the spinner struck again in the afternoon to secure Jacques Kallis' (20) scalp, Harbhajan Singh removing Alviro Petersen (21) in between to leave the home side on course for a series-levelling win.
Rain and Hashim Amla (49 not out) were hurdles to more success for the home side as the Proteas ended the day on 115 for three, still 232 runs behind India's first innings score.
The start to the morning session was delayed by more than 90 minutes, but Smith and Petersen had made a determined start once play resumed.
Smith had eased the first delivery from Zaheer Khan for a boundary, but was thereafter troubled considerably by a testing line from the left-arm seamer and was beaten regularly by Harbhajan, who had shared the new ball.
The opening pair added 30 more to the overnight total when Mishra, introduced for the first time in the penultimate over before lunch, trapped Smith in front with a delivery which turned in slightly from an off-stump line.
Debutant Petersen, who scored a century in the first innings, had also struggled in the morning and had edged Zaheer in the second over, but the ball had fallen just wide of VVS Laxman at second slip.
Harbhajan, however, ended the opener's resistance in his second over after the lunch interval, Petersen squeezing a delivery that drifted in from off onto the pad, the ball looping up to Subramaniam Badrinath at forward short leg.
Kallis and Amla then revived South Africa with a 57-run stand for the third wicket, but Mishra returned to scalp Kallis, inducing an edge which went straight to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Ashwell Prince then negotiated four deliveries without scoring, but the weather had turned murky and the umpires suspended play about 30 minutes before the scheduled tea interval.
Play was further held up by rain and although the players returned to the field, only one over was possible before stumps were eventually drawn.Reuse content