Cameron Bancroft tried his hardest to redeem himself as he reached 22 at the end of the second session with Australia on 47-0 as they began their chase on day four of the third Test at Newlands.
Vernon Philander had earlier scored an unbeaten 52 as South Africa were bowled out for 373, setting Australia a target of 430. At tea, the visitors needed a further 383 runs to win.
Bancroft, along with David Warner (25), who was stood down as the team’s vice-captain before play resumed, played sensibly against a South African outfit that had all the momentum in the Test match.
South Africa’s Philander, Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel were unable to make the breakthrough, and will be looking to make inroads in the day’s final session.
The way Bancroft, who was fined 75% of his match fee after being found guilty of ball tampering, played before tea suggested he had completely blocked out Saturday’s embarrassment as he displayed an array of lovely shots at the beginning of Australia’s innings.
Earlier in the session, Rabada, having put on a 30-run stand with Philander, became Nathan Lyon’s 300th Test victim when he was stumped by stand-in skipper Tim Paine.
Apart from losing the wicket of Rabada, the second session went about the same way as the previous one, with South Africa scoring runs freely as the lack of fight continued for Australia. Keshav Maharaj added just five to the total before he was out in typical fashion, caught at long-on attempting to go big off Lyon.
Philander notched up his eighth Test fifty with a four through the point boundary off Josh Hazlewood. But the innings was over when Morkel was caught by Usman Khawaja at gully for six.
South Africa 311 (1st innings): Dean Elgar 141*, AB de Villiers 64; Pat Cummins 4-78, Nathan Lyon 2-43
Australia 255 (1st innings): Cameron Bancroft 77, Nathan Lyon 47; Morne Morkel 4-87, Kagiso Rabada 3-91
South Africa 373 (2nd innings): Aiden Markram 84, Quinton de Kock 65; Pat Cummins 3-67, Josh Hazlewood 2-69
Australia 47-0 (2nd innings): David Warner 25*, Cameron Bancroft 22*
Australia need 383 to win
Photo: EJ Langer/Gallo Images