South Africa beat top-ranked India by 72 runs in the first test on Monday, bowling out the best side in the world for just 135 on the fourth day at Newlands. India has never won a series in South Africa, losing five of the six it has played.
Significantly, South Africa has strengthened its hold on India in the first Test match.
But Steyn, who arrived at the ground on crutches, limped to the wicket as the last batsman in an effort to keep company with AB de Villiers, who top-scored with 35. Unseasonal rain fell for much of the day across drought-stricken Cape Town.
Hardik Pandya got out for 1 runs in the balling of Philanders, who has taken 3 wickets in the 2nd innings.
South Africa opener Elgar then nearly collected a pair when the hosts began their second innings, the left-hander pulling his first ball just out of reach of Mohammad Shami at mid-on having nicked off third delivery in his first knock at Newlands.
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India's run chase started promisingly with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan putting on 30 for the first wicket, although Vijay was reprieved on review twice after being given out against Philander, for leg before wicket and a catch behind the wicket.
The South African seamers had other ideas though as Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morné Morkel ripped through the Indian batting line up with great skill and aggression.
Steyn had sustained the injury just before tea on the second day when he landed awkwardly in the footholes.
Pandya then cut loose, cracking Philander for three boundaries in the following over and bringing up his second Test fifty from 46 deliveries, Bhuvneshwar a bystander at that point before getting off the mark from his 34th ball with a single off Rabada. Rabada finished with figures of 2/41 while Morkel also chipped in with 2/39, but man of the match Philander routed India to finish with career-best figures of 6/42, to ensure that the Proteas went up 1-0 in the three-match series.