South Africa were reduced to 63-4 by lunch on day four of the first Test against Australia at Kingsmead.
They require another 354 runs to win.
Having been set a massive target of 417 for victory, the Proteas’ run chase started badly as they lost Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis before 12:00.
Aiden Markram was the only South African batsman to offer any form of resistance, as he and Theunis de Bruyn got the home side through the first session.
Batting first, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon saw Australia to 227.
The South African chase started fairly well, with Elgar and Markram going at three runs an over before Steve Smith brought Lyon on.
Elgar’s time at the crease didn’t last long as Starc found some extra bounce just back of a length, and the South African opener edged it to Tim Paine.
Amla’s poor run of form continued as he was trapped lbw by Josh Hazlewood for eight. It was the sixth time in the last seven innings between South Africa and Australia that Amla fell victim to Hazlewood.
The next man in, De Villiers, faced just one ball before he was run out by David Warner for a duck.
Cummins found the perfect line and length as he bowled South Africa captain Du Plessis for just four runs as the home side were in all kinds of trouble.
Australia (1st innings) 351: Mitchell Marsh 96, Steve Smith 56; Keshav Maharaj 5-123, Vernon Philander 2-59
South Africa (1st innings) 162: AB de Villiers 71, Aiden Markram 32; Mitchell Starc 5-34, Nathan Lyon 3-50
Australia (2nd innings) 227: Cameron Bancroft 53, Steve Smith 38, Keshav Maharaj 4-102, Morne Morkel 3-42
South Africa (2nd innings) 63-4: Aiden Markram 38, Dean Elgar 9, Pat Cummins 1-8, Josj Hazlewood 1-16
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images