The Proteas moved to 11-0 without loss at tea on day two of the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
Opening batsmen Dean Elgar and Pieter Malan navigated a challenging period prior to the break and will continue to address a 389-run deficit through Saturday’s final session.
Earlier, England climbed to 400 all out on the back of a record partnership between tailenders Mark Wood and Stuart Broad.
Broad and Wood shared 82 runs, beating the previous best 10th-wicket partnership in Test cricket at this venue between Proteas tailenders Fanie de Villiers and Allan Donald against Pakistan in 1995.
Fast bowler Anrich Nortje cherished a maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket. His 5-110 surpassed a previous-best 3-56 against the same country in Centurion late last year.
A rain-affected Friday had the hosts conceding England’s first century partnership for the first wicket since 2016, when openers Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook starred against India in Chennai. This time, openers Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley capitalised against the Proteas seamers.
South Africa are without fast bowler Kagiso Rabada for this fixture. He was banned by the International Cricket Council after an overzealous celebration of England captain Joe Root’s dismissal during last week’s third Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth. The home side also omitted spinner Keshav Maharaj from the XI.
This Test is all-rounder Vernon Philander’s last. He will retire from international cricket next week in favour of a Kolpak contract with Somerset in English county cricket later this year.
England lead the series 2-1. They lost in Centurion before winning in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
South Africa: Dean Elgar, Pieter Malan, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Temba Bavuma, Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Anrich Nortje, Dane Paterson, Beuran Hendricks.
England: Zak Crawley, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad.
Photo: Gallo Images