England slipped to 157-6 at tea on day two of the first Test against the Proteas at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Friday.
Resuming on 60-2 after the lunch break, the tourists lost captain Joe Root, half-centurion Joe Denly, middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow and all-rounder Ben Stokes in relatively quick succession.
Five of the English batsmen were caught by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, as fast bowlers Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje and seamers Dwaine Pretorius and Vernon Philander successfully exploited conditions conducive to swing and seam movement.
Nortje’s pace to bowl Bairstow was particularly telling. He also removed Stokes, who threatened with successive sixes off spinner Keshav Maharaj. Denly, who was dropped on zero by slip fielder Rassie van der Dussen, eventually afforded Pretorius a maiden Test wicket.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler and all-rounder Sam Curran will resume after the break, with a deficit of 127 and push for a first-innings lead to address.
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.