Off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen grabbed four for 50 as India U-19 bowled out South Africa for a paltry 197 on the opening day of the first youth 'Test' on Wednesday.
However, South Africa hit back with a late strike as India under-19 ended the first day's day play at 95 for three.
The visiting team, elected to bat after captain Matthew Montgomery won the toss and was in trouble losing opener Thamsanqa Kumalo to the fifth ball of the match for a duck.
Kumalo was bowled by right-arm fast-medium pacer Anshul Kamboj and the South Africans suffered another blow when the other opener Jonathan Bird (4) edged one to the India captain Suraj Ahuja off Kamboj.
Montgomery (57) and Andile Mogakane (20) were involved in a brief recovery before the latter, nicked one to Ahuja of the bowling of Sabir Khan to reduce the visiting team to 39 for 3.
Kamboj and Sabir Khan had two scalps each as three South African batsmen failed to open their account. The right-handed Montgomery played some beautiful shots while defending with assurance.
The fourth-wicket stand was broken when Makhakha was castled by off-spinner Shokeen. Montgomery and left-hander Bryce Parsons (58) added 25 runs before the captain was trapped leg-before-wicket by Shokeen.
The South African lower-order couldn't provide much support to all-rounder Parsons, who batted with panache and scored an important half-century. His knock contained five fours and a six.
In reply, the Rahul Dravid-coached Indian team suffered an early setback when Varun Nayanar was bowled by paceman Lifa Ntanzi for a duck off the third ball of the innings.
Mumbai's Divyansh Saxena (44) played in an enterprising manner to lead India's response, striking six fours and a six and added 36 runs with fellow left-hander Vathsal Govind (23) and 59 runs with Yashasvi Jaiswal (24).
Parsons struck with his second ball, having Jaiswal caught and bowled to leave India at 95 for 3, still 102 runs behind at stumps on day one of the four-day match.
Brief scores: South Africa Under-19 197 all out in 67.5 overs (Bryce Parsons 58, Matthew Montgomery 57, Hrithik Shokeen 4 for 50) vs India 'A' 95 for 3 in 19.2 overs (Divyansh Saxena 44 batting).