An unbeaten century from AB de Villiers was the only positive that South Africa could extract from the third day of the opening Test against Australia at the Wanderers, with the tourists reaching 51 for 1 by the close for an overall lead of 297.
Responding to Australia's 466, the home side endured a mid-morning collapse before being bowled out for 220. Australia's captain, Ricky Ponting, decided not to put South Africa back in and the tourists reached the close for the loss of Simon Katich, who got a fine edge off Morne Morkel to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher for 10. The debutant opener Phillip Hughes, who got a duck in the first innings, was 36 not out alongside Ponting.
South Africa started the day on 85 for 3, and Neil McKenzie had added just one more run before being pinned lbw by Peter Siddle. McKenzie was not convinced, though, and opted to use a referral, which proved the wrong decision.
JP Duminy then tried to guide a leg-side delivery from Mitchell Johnson past Brad Haddin but only succeeded in gloving the ball to the wicketkeeper. Three deliveries later, the pair combined again to dismiss Mark Boucher, who feathered behind for a duck – he also challenged Billy Bowden's call but his fate was confirmed by the third umpire, Asad Rauf.
Morkel was next to follow after a tame top-edge was snapped up by the bowler, Siddle. In the next over, Marcus North picked up his first Test wicket, trapping Paul Harris leg before. Dale Steyn and De Villiers fought back with a fifty partnership before Steyn's determined effort ended when he edged Andrew McDonald to slip.
De Villiers brought up his ton from 181 deliveries when he pulled a short ball from Ben Hilfenhaus through midwicket for four. In the next over, Johnson cleaned up Makhaya Ntini for one, leaving his partner 104 not out. Johnson was the pick of the bowlers, claiming 4 for 25.