The Proteas will have to chase 466 runs to win the final Test against England at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.
South Africa dismissed England for 248 in their second innings on day three after a brilliant and aggressive bowling display by the hosts.
The bowling attack, in the absence of Vernon Philander, who pulled off the field with a hamstring problem shortly after lunch, showed some grit and determination that has been lacking at too many crucial stages this series.
With England resuming on 86-2 after the tea break, Beuran Hendricks got rid of opener Dom Sibley, who looked quite solid at the top of the order, for 44 when he chipped one straight to Pieter Malan.
Ben Stokes then looked to take the game away from South Africa with a few lusty blows to the boundary but he was nicked off by a beautiful Hendricks delivery, which was caught at slip by Rassie van der Dussen for 28.
In-form batsman Ollie Pope couldn’t manage a repeat of his performances in Port Elizabeth and in the first innings at the Wanderers when he departed for only 11 as Anrich Nortje joined the party and started to swing the ball away from the right handers.
He managed to find the edge of Pope’s bat, caught behind by Quinton de Kock.
Nortje then did the same to Jos Buttler, who was also caught behind by De Kock for only 8, a delivery that clocked 145km/h.
Captain Joe Root kept grinding it out for this team though and helped steer England’s lead past the 400-run mark.
But, Hendricks then struck twice in three deliveries when he dismissed both Sam Curran and Chris Woakes after Curran looked particularly dangerous with a quick fired 35 – a fourth wicket in the innings for the left armer.
The skipper, however, continued to fight it out and brought up a very well deserved half century.
Mark Wood found the boundary a couple of times before Dwaine Pretorius got his second wicket of the innings, bowling Wood around his legs, who walked too far across his stumps, for 18.
Hendricks then picked up his five wicket haul when he finally dismissed Root for 66 with Faf du Plessis taking a spectacular catch – England all out for 248.
Earlier on Sunday morning the visitors dismissed South Africa for only a 183 in their first innings with Wood claiming a spectacular five-wicket haul.
Root, though, decided not to enforce the follow on – he will be hoping his bowlers can deliver a similar bowling display to clinch the series.
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