It seems the Proteas are going to have to chase another big score in their second innings if they want to win the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers.
Having decided not to enforce the follow on after the hosts were dismissed for 183, still 217 runs behind England’s first innings score of 400, openers Zak Crawly and Dom Sibley again made a very solid start with the bat.
England have moved to 86-2 at tea on Sunday, boasting a lead of 303 runs.
Crawley and Sibley looked as composed as ever and again found it easy to cope with the Proteas seam attack.
Clever shots, while not forcing any unnecessary strokes against Beuran Hendricks, who managed to get the ball to nip around a bit, saw them take early control of the innings.
Dwaine Pretorius made the important breakthrough, though, after the pair brought up the 50 partnership when he found the edge of Crawly’s bat with Quinton de Kock taking the catch behind the stumps.
Dane Paterson then struck a big blow as well when he cleaned bowled new man Joe Denly – an inside edge smashing into the No 3’s stumps after an excellent delivery.
Sibley (39) and captain Joe Root (10) will take England into the final session, hoping to contribute as much as possible to their lead.
The Proteas bowling attack was struck a crucial blow as early as the third over, however, when Vernon Philander left the field with what looked like a pulled hamstring.
The 34-year-old, playing in his final match ever in South African colours, have yet to return to the field in what is also the last time fans will see him bowl for his country.
And to make matters worse, Philander was also fined 15% of his match fee and copped one demerit point from the ICC, following verbal abuse he directed at wicketkeeper Jos Buttler on Saturday afternoon when he dismissed him for 20.
The Proteas batmen continued to struggle when the came out to bat in the morning session on Sunday with De Kock again the only one to take up an aggressive approach to the English bowlers.
He would fall for 76 as the Proteas scrambled to 183 all out.