South Africa's hold on the second Test against Australia grew stronger on Day 3, with the home side building a dominant lead at Port Elizabeth.
Australia resumed their first innings on Saturday at 112-4, with David Warner starting the day unbeaten on 65, but the tourists were dismissed for 246 after lunch in reply to South Africa's total of 423.
It was enough to avoid the follow-on, but by the end of the day, South Africa had raced to 192-4 in their second innings, which meant for a lead of 369 with six wickets remaining.
Australia's first innings still held hope with Warner at the crease, but he added just five runs to his overnight score before being dismissed by Vernon Philander for 70.
Steven Smith fell one run short of his half-century, with Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris weighing in with scores in the 20s to see Australia past the follow-on mark.
Philander and Morne Morkel were the stars of the South Africa attack, taking 3-68 and 3-63, respectively.
|Australia 1st innings|
|Warner||c Smith||b Philander||70||142||78|
|Doolan||c AB de Villiers||b Parnell||8||25||15|
|S Marsh||c AB de Villiers||b Parnell||0||2|
|Clarke||c Elgar||b Philander||19||38||28|
|Lyon||b M Morkel||15||59||43|
|Smith||c AB de Villiers||b M Morkel||49||101||72|
|Harris||c du Plessis||b M Morkel||26||40||26|
|Extras||0nb 1w 4b 4lb||9|
|TOTAL||ALL OUT||246||(57 overs)|
South Africa lost both openers early in the second innings to give Australia hope. Graeme Smith and Dean Elgar were gone before the home side had reached 50, but Hashim Amla came to the crease in a hungry mood.
The No. 3 raced to 93 not out from 126 balls, striking 12 fours in an aggressive knock that was exactly what South Africa needed.
Despite losing two more wickets before stumps—with Johnson and Peter Siddle sharing four wickets between them—South Africa ended the day on 192-4 and with a fine platform to attack from on Sunday.
|South Africa 2nd innings|
|Elgar||c Haddin||b Siddle||16||53|
|du Plessis||c Haddin||b Siddle||24||62|
|AB de Villiers||c Haddin||b Johnson||29||47|
|de Kock||not out||9||46|
|Extras||0nb 0w 2b 5lb||7||Extras|
Only twice before have Australia chased down a total of 369 or higher—as per Cricinfo—and it seems the very best they can hope for is a draw now.
To achieve that they'll need to put up a far better batting performance than the one mounted in their first innings at Port Elizabeth.