South Africa are 0-3 at lunch after bowling out Australia for 550 just before the first break on day two of the second Test at Adelaide Oval.
The Proteas have openers Graeme Smith (zero) and Alviro Petersen (three) at the crease, although the latter has already flirted with danger after hooking to short mid-wicket where Ed Cowan got his fingertips to a difficult chance.
Earlier, the visitors added some shine to an otherwise woeful performance with the ball after tearing through Australia's lower-order for 5-56, with the hosts having resumed play at 5-482 following Thursday's huge effort.
Towering quick Morne Morkel (5-146) was superb as he claimed a five-wicket haul, including bowling double centurion and first day hero Michael Clarke for 230.
The Proteas smelt blood once Clarke's dazzling innings came to an end and choked the run rate.
Morkel got rid of Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade for six and paceman Ben Hilfenhaus for a duck before late inclusion Rory Kleinveldt (1-81) claimed his elusive first Test wicket for South Africa when Peter Siddle (six) edged to Smith at slip.
Kleinveldt had to wait for a review to record his maiden wicket, and although replays suggested his front foot had inched across the line for a no-ball, the paceman was given the benefit of the doubt.
The Proteas looked likely to steamroll the tail-end before Australian fast bowler James Pattinson offered stern resistance with a handy 42-run knock his highest Test score that included four boundaries and two thumping sixes.
Australia began day two at 5-482 with Clarke and Wade unbeaten on 224 and zero respectively.
South African paceman Dale Steyn (2-79) was struggling to hit full stride early on, and Wade punished him with a powerful drive through cover for four to get off the mark.
Clarke almost fell early when he was caught by surprise with a short Morkel delivery that popped up off his handle just short of a diving AB de Villiers.
But, in style, the 31-year-old pulled Morkel's next delivery away to the mid-wicket boundary.
Morkel would get his revenge and claimed the desperately needed scalp of Clarke with a sweet delivery that swung in and skidded onto the Australian skipper's stumps.
South Africa had the wind in their sails following the vital dismissal as the run rate dipped.
The pressure took its toll on Wade who, attempting to smash a ball through cover, edged to de Villiers before Siddle departed shortly after.
Morkel then bagged his fifth wicket with the dismissal of Hilfenhaus who top edged to Kleinveldt at long-leg.
Although wickets crumbled around him, Pattinson crashed a series of shots into the boundary rope and even swept expensive Proteas spinner Imran Tahir (0-180) over the mid-wicket fence.
Pattinson survived when he skied a shot to point that South African Test debutant Faf du Plessis couldn't even get a hand on as he battled the blinding sun.
The reprieve was instantly costly as the Victorian hammered Tahir again high into the construction site area at Adelaide Oval for six.However, Pattinson departed moments later when he edged Steyn to Smith who juggled the ball and eventually took his fourth catch of the innings.