Half centuries from Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock saw South Africa stretch its lead passed the 300-run mark on the third morning of the final Castle Lager Test match here on Sunday.
The Proteas went to lunch on 232/7 with De Kock still at the crease on 77 and Kagiso Rabada, who came into bat 10 minutes before the interval on 4.
The highest successful fourth innings chase at this ground was by Australia in 2011, when they chased down 310 in the second Test of a short series that season.
It was a largely comfortable morning for the home team who resumed on 135/5 with the first session’s play a lot more sedate than the pulsating action on Saturday. It was as if everyone was still hungover after day two, and Amla and De Kock were measured in how they set about placing South Africa in a dominant position.
Amla notched up a 41st Test half-century, his innings a stoic effort on a pitch that on Saturday afternoon especially was showing signs of inconsistent bounce. There was less of that on show until the latter stages of the first session on another baking morning in Johannesburg.
Amla and De Kock shared a stand of 102 for the sixth wicket, before Hasan Ali did get one to spit off a length, the ball catching Amla on the gloves giving Sarfraz Ahmed his ninth catch of the match. Amla scored 71, an innings that took him three and three quarter hours in which he faced 144 balls and hit 14 fours.
De Kock was more free flowing, bringing up a 15th Test half-century off only 49 balls, his innings featuring eight beautifully struck boundaries.
Vernon Philander fell shortly before lunch, when Mohammad Amir trapped him lbw for 10, a decision confirmed by third official Bruce Oxenford after the batsman asked for a review.
South Africa won’t be in any rush to declare this afternoon – not with De Kock insight of a hundred – while stand-in skipper Dean Elgar will not want to give the tourists a sniff.