Faf du Plessis bats on the third day of the third and final Test against Australia at Newlands in Cape Town. Photo: Luigi Bennett

Cape Town — Australia took two wickets in the session after lunch to leave South Africa on the verge of a series defeat in Cape Town on Wednesday.

With the series poised at 1-1, the hosts were 201 for seven at tea in the third Test, looking to bat out the final day after being set a target of 511 in their second innings.

Faf du Plessis played a resolute innings of 47 from 109 balls before being trapped lbw by Steven Smith just before tea.

He had shared in a 37-run stand from 107 balls with JP Duminy.

At the break, Duminy was unbeaten on 22 and Vernon Philander on 16.

Ryan Harris struck after lunch to remove AB de Villiers for 43 (228 balls, six fours). The batsman was caught behind by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, ending a 322 minute stay at the crease.

Before lunch, De Villiers and nightwatchman Kyle Abbott, who managed seven runs of 89 balls, frustrated the visitors as South Africa accumulated only 51 runs from 39 overs in the session.

Abbott was finally out as James Pattinson got the ball to reverse and hit the top of offstump. –