Australia remain in full control of this Test match after South Africa were bowled out on Day 3 for just 287 runs, still more than 200 runs shy of the visitors' lead.
The day could not have started much worse for the home side, and any thought of building some quick momentum was almost instantly dissipated.
Opener Graeme Smith has endured a tortuous series so far, and his poor form continued when he edged Ryan Harris to Brad Haddin for just five in the fifth over of the innings.
A quick-fire half century from just 49 balls by Alviro Petersen looked to have steadied the ship after Smith's early exit. But a magnificent flying catch from Haddin, this time from the bowling of James Pattinson, saw Dean Elgar dismissed for just 11.
At 89/2, South Africa needed momentum.
Petersen was playing some lovely strokes and looked set for a big score until the effervescent Mitchell Johnson took care of him.
The surprise short ball did it for Petersen, with Haddin gratefully accepting another gift.
|South Africa First Innings: 287 all out (82.5 overs)|
|Batsman||Method of Dismissal||Runs||Balls|
|GC Smith||c Haddin b Harris||5||19|
|AN Petersen||c Haddin b Johnson||53||62|
|D Elgar||c Haddin b Pattinson||11||20|
|HM Amla||b Harris||38||52|
|AB de Villiers||c Clarke b Johnson||14||37|
|F du Plessis||c Warner b Johnson||67||135|
|JP Duminy||c Haddin b Harris||4||8|
|VD Philander||not out||37||107|
|KJ Abbott||b Watson||2||25|
|DW Steyn||c Watson b Johnson||28||27|
|M Morkel||c Watson b Pattinson||7||9|
|Extras||(b 8, lb 3, w 6, nb 3)||20|
Hashim Amla's steady 38 was peppered with boundaries, six in all.
As he pushed toward a deserved half century, a wonderful line and length from Ryan Harris cut him down in his prime.
AB De Villiers, so often South Africa's saviour, was another to fall quickly as the Australians began to sense their opponents' nervousness at the crease. Johnson tempted AB with a full-length delivery, Michael Clarke at second slip with the safe hands.
If his score of 14 was bad enough, JP Duminy's woeful four left the hosts rocking at just 146 for 6, a full 348 runs behind the rampant Aussies, and with just four first-innings wickets remaining.
Faf du Plessis and Vernon Philander's resilience settled things down. With a run rate of just three an over, the two kept the South Africans ticking along nicely.
@foxcricketlive That missed stumping is becoming increasingly expensive. This 90 run partnership has taken valuable time out of the match.— Rory Burnside (@RoryBurnside) March 3, 2014
A late intervention by Johnson ruined their 95-run partnership and swung the balance firmly back in the Australian's favour.
Du Plessis' spirited 67 was ended as David Warner stooped low to collect as the ball hurtled toward gully.
Philander still looked comfortable, but he would soon run out of partners.
Kyle Abbot lasted for 25 balls, contributing only three runs before Shane Watson took out his stumps with a ripper of a delivery.
Dale Steyn provided some meaningful defence, and his 28 may yet prove crucial, however unlikely it would seem at this stage.
Philander's fierce resistance, unbeaten on 37, having faced 107 balls, was ultimately in vain, Morkel contributing a pathetic seven before Pattinson had him caught behind, an athletic catch from Watson wrapping up the innings.
At the close, Australia were 27 without loss, and the signs look ominous for South Africa, Warner already in a hurry on 25.
Some early wickets are crucial on Day 4 if the hosts want to retain any hope of salvaging this Test match.