Australia lost three wickets as they reached tea on day three of the second Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth on 86-3 to trail South Africa by 53.
Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Keshav Maharaj picked up the wickets of David Warner (13), Cameron Bancroft (24), and Australia captain Steve Smith (11) respectively as they had the visitors on the ropes at tea.
South Africa will look at their lead and feel they can make inroads in the third and final session.
Australia began the innings 139 runs behind South Africa, and the pressure to start strongly was on Bancroft and Warner.
The two openers put on 27 for the first wicket before Rabada found the perfect line and length and bowled Warner. It was a carbon copy of Warner’s dismissal in the first innings by Ngidi.
Next in was Usman Khawaja, who was in desperate need of a solid innings, having struggled so far on this tour.
Ngidi showed a lot of maturity early on in the second innings as he bowled two consecutive maiden overs.
The Proteas seamer then found Khawaja’s outside edge, but the ball did not carry to AB de Villiers at first slip, and went through for four at the end of the 19th over.
Ngidi finally picked up his first wicket when a full ball at Bancroft trickled under his bat and carried on to his stumps, and Australia were 62-2.
That brought Smith to the middle, and the Australia captain was immediately off the mark when he whipped Ngidi through square leg for four.
Smith displayed some brave batting when he went down the track and hit Maharaj over long off for six.
Maharaj got the big wicket of Smith when he found extra turn and fooled the Australia captain, who found a fine edge to Quinton de Kock.
Australia 243 (1st innings): David Warner 63, Cameron Bancroft 38, Kagiso Rabada 5-96, Lungi Ngidi 3-51
South Africa 382 (1st innings): AB de Villiers 126*, Dean Elgar 57, Pat Cummins 3-79, Mitchell Marsh 2-26
Australia 86-3 (2nd innings): Usman Khawaja 28*, Cameron Bancroft 24, Lungi Ngidi 1-10, Kagiso Rabada 1-29
Australia trail by 53 runs
Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix