England will have to replicate South African powers of defiance if they are to salvage the second npower Test at Headingley.
Michael Vaughan's team need to bat the majority of the final two days - a feat South Africa managed at Lord's last week - to avoid going behind in the series.
Their cause was not helped by an unconvincing start, which included the loss of both Andrew Strauss and Vaughan this evening as they closed on 50 for two.
Twin hundreds from AB de Villiers and Ashwell Prince, and large ones at that, ground out a 319-run lead on first innings for the South Africans.
Their disciplined approach proved quite a contrast to England's gung-ho efforts on Friday, when they were shot out in two sessions.
England captain Vaughan, when speaking about the future composition of his team earlier this summer, offered South Africa's positioning of De Villiers at number six as a key new strategy in Test cricket.
De Villiers was eulogised by Vaughan for his unbeaten double hundred from that position against India in Ahmedabad earlier this year, and was within two dozen of another when a flashing drive at a Stuart Broad delivery was brilliantly snaffled one handed, low down to his left, by a diving Andrew Flintoff at slip.
Only when partnered by the lower order did the 24-year-old alter an unflustered tempo against an England attack already toiling from their three consecutive days in the field in the series opener.
South Africa resumed on 322 for four this morning and added an even 200, as the hosts were forced to take their third new ball of the contest.
De Villiers arguably saved his best two strokes for it, twice piercing the off-side field with drives for four in a James Anderson over - the first taking him to 150.
Pugnacious left-hander Prince was finally prised out, after marking the 27th anniversary of Ian Botham's famous Ashes 149 on the same ground, with a replica score.
Such was the dominance of the pair it appeared their stand of 212, a South African fifth-wicket record against England, was interminable. England certainly beat the bat with greater regularity this morning than they managed yesterday but nevertheless had to wait for Australian-raised Pattinson's introduction for the first success for 75 overs, and the bowler's second in Test cricket.
New boy Pattinson - again the last member of England's four-strong seam attack to be used by Vaughan - got one to keep its line from round the wicket to take the edge.
England also accounted for Mark Boucher and Morne Morkel in the afternoon session but it was hard graft, made tougher by two spurned opportunities when Mark Boucher was on eight.
All-rounder Flintoff created the first chance for a sixth wicket before the tea interval but Alastair Cook spurned a low opportunity at second slip.
He also escaped after lunch when Pattinson failed to cling on one-handed to a chance in his follow-through.
Boucher eventually succumbed when he hauled a pull into his stumps off Anderson, having contributed marginally over half of a 67-run alliance.
But, after Morkel was bowled through the gate by left-arm spinner Monty Panesar for the second time in as many innings, De Villiers combined with Paul Harris to add a further 84.
Panesar eventually had Harris, who had lofted him for six over long-on, and Makhaya Ntini caught via ambitious aerial blows and having gone 82 overs without success stretching back to the first innings at Lord's, finished with the respectable figures of three for 65.
Only one wicket fell in the opening session and De Villiers celebrated three figures shortly before lunch when, after being stuck on 99 for 13 balls, he dropped a single into the off-side off the bowling of Flintoff.
Before then, De Villiers forced a four past cover in Stuart Broad's first over of the day, to take him and Prince beyond South Africa's previous best for the fifth wicket against England - Gary Kirsten and Mark Boucher's 192 at Durban in 1999.
Prince needed 13 deliveries to add to his overnight 134 but recorded his Test best, and brought up the 200 stand for good measure, with a cover-drive on the up for four off Broad.
Crease occupation was also the pre-requisite for England's second innings and they got within nine balls of limiting the damage to just one wicket lost.
But a revitalised Makhaya Ntini produced a second humdinger to send back Vaughan and thin England's slim survival hopes.
Ntini, who beat the bat with some beauties, straightened one from his customary wide angle to kiss the edge of Vaughan's bat, having switched from the rugby stand end.
It had been from there that a delivery of extra bounce, unusually for Ntini from around the wicket, provided wicketkeeper Boucher with his first dismissal of the innings as Strauss went for nought.Reuse content