Wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan and skipper Hanuma Vihari hit a fifty each to guide India A to 229 for 6 in reply to South Africa A's 268 all out at stumps on the second day of the third unofficial Test, in Bloemfontein, on Tuesday.
At close of play, Kishan was batting on 86 off 141 balls, with the help of 12 boundaries and a six, while Vihari scored 63 off 170 balls, during which he hit six fours and one over the fence.
Besides the duo, opener Abhimanyu Easwaran scored 28 and Sarfaraz Khan 14.
Opener Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal failed to live up to expectations, scoring just 5 and 8 respectively.
Right-arm medium pacer Lutho Sipamla was the pick of the South Africa bowlers with figures of 3 for 63, while Migael Pretorius (1/27), Marco Jansen (1/43) and Senuran Muthusamy (1/54) scalped a wicket each.
India A trail South Africa A by 39 runs.
Earlier, resuming at the overnight score of 249 for 7, South Africa A added just 19 runs for the last three wickets before being bowled out for 268 in their first innings.
Opener Sarel Erwee top-scored for South Africa A with a patient 75, while Tony de Zorzi (58) and Khaya Zondo (56) struck a half-century each.
Right-arm pacer Deepak Chahar shone bright with the ball with figures of 4 for 45, while Navdeep Saini picked three wickets for 51 runs.
Left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar also took two wickets for 52 runs.