England's unlikely bid to save the second Test at Headingley got off to a discouraging start when Andrew Strauss fell for a duck to the bowling of Makhaya Ntini.
Needing 319 to make South Africa bat again and therefore stand any chance of avoiding going 1-0 down in this four-match npower series, the hosts were minus Strauss almost immediately.
With 18 overs and two days remaining, they were in dire straits on 13 for one - after a record fifth-wicket stand of 212 between AB de Villiers (174) and Ashwell Prince (149) had carried South Africa to 522 all out.
On a pitch which has largely favoured the batsmen, Ntini found extra bounce from a dangerous line round the wicket with the new ball to have Strauss edging behind.
Fresh conditions accompanied by regular cloud cover were no bar through the first two sessions to more unhurried but relentless South African consolidation of an already dominant position.
De Villiers forced a four past cover in Stuart Broad's first over of the day, to take him and Prince beyond their country'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 eventually reached his Test best, and brought up the 200 stand for good measure, with a cover-drive on the up for four off Broad.
There was to be no maiden 150, though, because debutant Darren Pattinson - again the last member of England's four-strong seam attack to be used by Michael Vaughan - got one to keep its line from round the wicket and have the left-hander caught behind, giving his team their first wicket for 75 overs.
De Villiers, joined by Boucher, completed his sixth Test century shortly before lunch when he pushed a single off Andrew Flintoff into the off-side - having spent 13 balls on 99.
De Villiers' hundred took 264 balls and contained 11 fours.
He was in no rush after the resumption either, on his way to 150 - adding four more boundaries in another 91 deliveries.
Boucher, still more cautious, helped to add 67 for the sixth wicket before dragging an attempted pull at James Anderson on to his stumps - and Monty Panesar (three for 65) then ended a personal barren spell stretching back to the first Test at Lord's 82 overs ago when he bowled Morne Morkel through the gate for a conspicuous duck.
De Villiers eventually went after more than eight-and-a-half hours - to Flintoff's outstanding, one-handed catch away to his left at first slip off an edged drive at Broad.Reuse content