South Africa are 55-2 at tea after losing Stiaan van Zyl and Hashim Amla early in their innings.
For a brief period, the Proteas had their noses in front. They did well to dismiss England for 303 in the first session considering the visitors had resumed on 179-4. Morné Morkel led the fightback with a performance of 4-76. The opportunity was certainly there for South Africa to ram the advantage home.
But then Stuart Broad struck with the second ball of the Proteas’ innings. Stiaan van Zyl made the disastrous decision to leave when Broad was bowling from around the wicket.
The ball deviated slightly off the surface and crashed into Van Zyl’s stumps. It was clear to see how the dismissal lifted the spirits of the visitors, and hurt the confidence of the hosts.
Hashim Amla survived one caught-behind appeal. He was handed a further life when wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow dropped him when he was on 2. It was third time lucky for England, however, when Broad produced a ripper of a delivery that squared Amla up and induced the edge. This time Bairstow pouched the catch, and Amla walked.
England may have had three big wickets for next to no runs had one other decision gone their way. Ben Stokes looked to have AB de Villiers caught at gully in the 13th over, although the on-field umpire felt otherwise. Television replays suggested that Stokes may have got his fingers under the ball, but the final call remained with the on-field umpire. It was a massive moment in South Africa’s innings with De Villiers on 11.
De Villiers and Dean Elgar went on to build a partnership of 41 runs and steer South Africa to the tea break. The final session will be crucial as the hosts look to regain control.
England 303 (1st Innings) – Nick Compton 85, James Taylor 70, Dale Steyn 4-70, Morné Morkel 4-76
SA (1st innings) 55-2 – AB de Villiers 26 not out, Dean Elgar 22 not out, Stuart Broad 2-8
South Africa trail by 248 runs