While South Africa collected 10 wickets on day three of The Wanderers Test, England look set to take the series 3-1, with the hosts needing to break a world record in chasing down 466.
Vernon Philander departed early on as the Proteas continued their first innings at the start of the day, but a 76-run stand between Quinton de Kock and Dwaine Pretorius halted England’s momentum.
The resistance was broken when Ben Stokes dismissed Pretorius for 37 and Mark Wood’s pace proved too hot to handle for de Kock and Dane Paterson, with the paceman collecting his second Test five-for.
Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley's burgeoning partnership at the top of the English order resulted in a 56-run stand as South Africa contended with the early loss of Philander, who left the field midway through his second over with a suspected hamstring injury.
The home attack did not lose hope, however, and the English top order was dismantled in the space of 15 overs. Stokes looked to counter-attack but fell for 28 off 24 balls and while Ollie Pope looked sublime through the leg side, he perished for 11 off the bowling of the lively Anrich Nortje.
Jos Buttler perished for 8, but the adventurous Sam Curran (35 off 29 balls) was the perfect foil for Joe Root, who went on to his second half-century of the match.
Wickets continued to arrive, culminating in a fifth wicket for debutant Beuran Hendricks, with Root departing after Faf du Plessis leapt to his right to snaffle a spectacular catch at wide slip. That concluded the day and while proceedings finished on a happy note for South Africa, with England all out for 248, they will have to pull off something very special tomorrow to level the series.
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