Australia completely dominated South Africa on day two at Kingsmead as they bowled the hosts out for 162 to claim a 189 first-innings lead.
Seamer Mitchell Starc was the chief destroyer for the visitors. His reverse swing was almost unplayable and earned him a return of 5-34. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon picked up three wickets.
AB de Villiers, who scored 71 not out, was the only South African batsman who offered any form of resistance, as the home side now find themselves with a mountain to climb.
South Africa began the third and final session on 55-3 when captain Faf du Plessis joined De Villiers in the middle after they had lost Aiden Markram in the previous session.
The Proteas were soon four wickets down when Du Plessis was caught by wicketkeeper Tim Paine off the bowling of Starc for 15, which left the home side on 94-4 with just over two hours to play on day two.
Theunis de Bruyn then had a scare early on in his innings as Josh Hazlewood got some steep bounce which went off the gloves of the Proteas batsman and past a diving Paine.
De Bruyn was soon on his way for six, however, when he edged an attempted drive off the bowling of Starc to give the visitors firm control of the first Test.
Meanwhile, De Villiers brought up his 43rd half-century when he cut Hazlewood through point.
Quinton de Kock looked as if he had got over his troubles, and played beautifully as he got to 20. But he was completely fooled by a Lyon ball which went straight through him.
Vernon Philander didn’t last as he found himself back in the dressing room having scored just eight. Philander was Starc’s third victim of the game.
Hazlewood got his first wicket when he uprooted Keshav Maharaj’s off-stump, leaving just Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel left in the batting line up for South Africa.
Both Rabada and Morkel didn’t stay in long as Starc picked up the final two wickets in quick succession. In the end, South Africa were all out for 162 at the close of play.
Australia 351 all out: Mitchell Marsh 96, Steve Smith 56; Keshav Maharaj 5-123, Vernon Philander 2-59
South Africa 162 all out: Ab de Villiers 71, Aiden Markram 32; Mitchell Starc 5-34, Nathan Lyon 3-50
Australia lead by 189 runs
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images