South Africa set England a target of 382 to win the final test of their series with the visitors ending Day 4 on 52-3 to leave their rivals in a commanding position.
Hashim Amla was eventually dismissed for 96 as the South Africans started the day well before declaring on 248-5, with Jimmy Anderson the pick of the England bowlers with second-innings figures of 3-47.
Having put Alastair Cook’s men in to bat with a significant part of the tea session remaining, AB de Villiers saw his side get off to the perfect start with quick wickets to dismiss Alex Hales and the England captain with Morne Morkel producing this bit of magic to claim the scalp of the latter.
While England have it all to do on the final day if they wish to avoid defeat and perhaps even claim an unlikely victory, they will undoubtedly need to navigate through a tricky opening session with Morkel and Kagiso Rabada looking dangerous.
Joe Root and James Taylor were able to steady the ship late on, not without the former escaping a big opportunity for a stumping as Quinton de Kock couldn’t hold on to the ball.
As a result, the warning signs are certainly still there for the England battling line-up, and they will hope to avoid having to go into survival mode early on in the day.
Nevertheless, Day 4 belonged to the Proteas and they will hope to take full advantage on Tuesday with a view of ending the series with a flourish having already fallen 2-0 behind with defeats in Durban and Johannesburg.