The Proteas’ second-innings lead grew to 175 at the close of play on day two of the first Test against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Limited to 284 all out in the first innings, the hosts moved to 72-4 in the second. They also restricted the tourists to 181 all out. Friday, indeed, yielded 15 wickets in total.
Debutant Rassie van der Dussen and nightwatchman Anrich Nortje will resume on Saturday, but familiar top- through middle-order frailties were again evident. Openers Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram, the young Zubayr Hamza and Faf du Plessis shared a mere 48 runs.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer, meanwhile, was formally warned after bowling consecutive head-high full toss at Nortje.
South Africa’s performance with the ball was highlighted by fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Nortje – and seamers Vernon Philander and Dwaine Pretorius.
Philander, who will retire from international cricket after this series, was characteristically telling en route to figures of 4/16 in 14.2 overs, the first five of which were successive maidens.
Nortje was key in successfully combating all-rounder Ben Stokes, who posed a significant threat after hitting spinner Keshav Maharaj for back-to-back sixes. Half-centurion Joe Denly’s departure afforded Pretorius a maiden Test wicket.
This is the 150th Test between the Proteas and England. Three more will follow this series, at Newlands in Cape Town, St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth and the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
South Africa: Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
England: Rory Burns, Dominic Sibley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.